- US Using Trade War to Stop China Overtaking It: Ex-Singapore Diplomat Kishore Mahbubani
by Lee Jeong-ho, https://www.scmp.com/week-asia
* Kishore Mahbubani says the US could have solved its trade dispute with China if it wanted to, but it is now a ‘geopolitical contest’
* China’s Belt and Road Initiative was a ‘pre-emptive strike’ against the US and current world order
The United States ’ ultimate goal in its trade war with China may be to prevent its emerging rival from overtaking it as the world’s greatest economic power – and hence secure its leading position in the current world order, a former Singapore diplomat has said. Kishore Mahbubani, who was Singapore’s permanent representative to the United Nations and also the president of the UN Security Council, told the This Week in Asia that political imperatives lie at the centre of what it appears to be a “trade” conflict between the world’s two largest economies.
“I think it’s now becoming clear that it’s not just a trade war … If it was purely a trade war, and if the US’ goal was to only reduce trade deficits with China, I think that problem could have been solved easily, because clearly China wants to have a constructive relationship with the US,” said Mahbubani, who is now a distinguished fellow of the Asia Research Institute at the National University of Singapore.