A new cold war? U.S. and China’s power play

America’s relationship with China is at its lowest point in decades.

[U.S. President Donald Trump, saying:] "No administration has been tougher on China then this administration.”

[Chinese Ambassador to Britain Liu Xiaoming, saying:] "If you want to make China a hostile country you have to bear the consequences."

The divergence pre-dates the Trump administration.

[U.S. President Barack Obama, saying:] "The United States is a Pacific power, and we're here to stay."

[U.S. President Donald Trump, saying:] "It's all death that could have been stopped by China."

From trade to technology, spheres of influence, social issues, and military supremacy -- there are so many issues here, and many intertwined.

Let's look at some of the main ones - starting with trade.

[U.S. President Donald Trump, saying:] “Nobody's ripped us off more than China over the last 25, 30 years.”

China is the United States’ largest trading partner, although there is a massive trade deficit -- an imbalance in exports versus imports in China's favor.

The Trump administration increased tariffs on Chinese imports in 2018.

That kickstarted more than a year of tit-for-tat tariffs, which have slowed global growth.

Both countries signed a trade deal in January.

But it doesn’t address the core issues.

Beijing has pledged to increase U.S. imports.

But Washington is still pushing U.S. companies to move sourcing and manufacturing out of China.

Then there’s that one particular Chinese firm: Huawei.

The U.S. blacklisted the tech company, citing national security concerns.

It says Huawei can spy on customers, although has provided little evidence.

[U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo saying:”] "It's a security risk. This isn't about commercial interests but protecting the information of, in this case, the people of the United Kingdom.”

Those ripples are spilling into the wider geopolitical pond.

Other countries, such as Britain, have been forced to pick sides.

[U.S. President Donald Trump, saying:] “We convinced many countries, many countries, and I did this myself for the most part.”

Huawei denies the allegations, and says Washington wants to frustrate its growth - as no U.S. company offers the same technology at a competitive price.

The U.S. has also started treating Chinese state media outlets as foreign embassies, slashing the number of journalists allowed in U.S. offices.

In response, China expelled around a dozen American correspondents -and required U.S. media outlets to submit details about their Chinese operations.

There’s a whole raft of other issues at play.

The U.S. has hardened its position on the South China Sea ... sanctioned Chinese officials over Hong Kong’s new security law … and condemned China’s treatment of minority Muslin Uighurs.

Then there's the pandemic again - which Trump regularly refers to as the ‘China virus’.

[U.S. President Donald Trump, saying:] “This is a worldwide problem caused by China.”

All these fissures point to a widening chasm between the nuclear powers.

A new geopolitical era may be dawning, and the future of all these disputes is anything but clear.

Video Transcript

- America's relationship with China is at its lowest point in decades.

DONALD TRUMP: No administration has been tougher on China than this administration.

- If you want to make China a hostile country, you'll have to bear the consequences.

- The divergence predates the Trump administration.

BARACK OBAMA: The United States is a Pacific power. And we are here to stay.

- But it's getting worse. And coronavirus hasn't helped the situation.

DONALD TRUMP: So all death could have been stopped by China.

- From trade to technology, spheres of influence, social issues, and military supremacy, there are so many issues here, and many intertwined. Let's look at some of the main ones, starting with trade.

DONALD TRUMP: Nobody's ripped us off more than China over the last 25, 30 years.

- China is the United States' largest trading partner, although there is a massive trade deficit, an imbalance in exports versus imports in China's favor. The Trump administration increased tariffs on Chinese imports in 2018. That kickstarted more than a year of tit for tat tariffs which have slowed global growth.

Both countries signed a trade deal in January, but it doesn't address the core issues. Beijing has pledged to increase US imports, but Washington is still pushing US companies to move sourcing and manufacturing out of China.

Then there's that one particular Chinese firm, Huawei. The US blacklisted the tech company, citing national security concerns. It says Huawei can spy on customers although has provided little evidence. Those ripples are spilling into the wider geopolitical pond. Other countries such as Britain have been forced to pick sides.

DONALD TRUMP: We convinced many countries, many countries. And I did this myself, for the most part.

Huawei denies the allegations and says Washington wants to frustrate its growth, as no US company offers the same technology at a competitive price.

- It's a security risk. This isn't about commercial interests. This is about protecting the information, in this case, of the United Kingdom's people.

- The US has also started treating Chinese state media outlets as foreign embassies, slashing the number of journalists allowed in US offices. In response, China expelled around a dozen American correspondents and required US media outlets to submit details about their Chinese operations.

There's a whole raft of other issues at play. The US has hardened its position on the South China Sea, sanctioned Chinese officials over Hong Kong's new security law, and condemned China's treatment of minority Muslim Uighurs.

Then there's the pandemic again, which Trump regularly refers to as the China virus.

DONALD TRUMP: This is a worldwide problem caused by China.

- All of these fissures point to a widening chasm between the nuclear powers. A new geopolitical era may be dawning. And the future of all of these disputes is anything but clear.