Executive Intelligence Review


China-U.S. Trade Talks Have Not Hit a Brick Wall, Says Asia Times

May 17, 2018 (EIRNS)—Despite widespread reporting by the Western media that the China-U.S. trade talks have hit a brick wall and a tariff war is ready to break open between the two, Asia Times said today that China’s participation in the second round of talks was due to the United States’ backing off from the harsh penalties which had been slapped on Chinese smartphone manufacturer ZTE. Asia Times cited unnamed experts saying “there is no realistic way to envision Beijing coming to the table without that precondition.”

TechCrunch website pointed out that ZTE, which began its U.S. operations in 1998, had found itself “in the eye of a looming trade war between superpowers,” writing that “Iranian sanctions were violated, fines levied and seven-year international bans were instated.”

Jesse Heatley, director at the China practice of Washington-based consulting firm Albright Stonebridge Group, told Asia Times that the United States backing off on ZTE has to be part of a deal. “If ZTE were to fall from its top role [in establishing 5G standards], China would be ceding a great deal,” he said.

Heatley, who advises U.S. technology firms on Chinese policy, further said that the ban on sales to ZTE could potentially have represented a significant setback to China’s plans to be leader in high-tech industries, Asia Times reported.