The Editorial Board of the Financial Times opined: "Might Donald Trump's ill-thought-out trade war with China benefit its victim? The answer is "yes". The Chinese authorities could respond to external pressure by shifting towards competitive neutrality between state, non-state and foreign business. The result might then be an economic resurgence...There is some (albeit recently dwindling) optimism that the US and China will reach a trade deal, because, it is felt, both presidents believe this to be in their own interests...More equal competitive conditions would surely promote economic growth. So, increasingly, would better protection of intellectual property. While US insistence on reducing the bilateral deficit is ridiculous and the proposed one-sided monitoring of Chinese behaviour unacceptable, the argument for revisiting the terms of — and behaviour under — China's accession to the World Trade Organization in 2001 makes sense. In its own interests, China needs to embrace a new round of pro-market reforms. Foreign pressure may be pushing China in that direction. But China will end up the main beneficiary.
The Washington Post reports that China and Japan have the opportunity to "take charge of the economic field" during a time of worldwide uncertainty, Japan's foreign minister said Sunday, as trade pressures from the United States have prompted both countries to seek alternative markets. Foreign Minister Taro Kono met with his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, in Beijing to discuss youth exchanges and economic relations between the two countries, whose ties "completely recovered" last year, according to Kono. The relationship was turbulent in previous years due to an unresolved dispute over islands in the East China Sea. High-level exchanges were frozen in 2012 after Japan nationalized the small group of remote islands claimed by Beijing. The act set off violent protests in China and sent Japanese investment and tourism into a nose dive. Trade and investment have since rebounded, and companies from the two nations are considering joint projects in third countries such as Thailand. While "the current economic situation is complicated and profoundly changing," Wang said, "Sino-Japanese economic cooperation is constantly advancing at a solid pace."