By Caroline Grady 30-07-2020
In: hive-indicators | China & Hong Kong Geopolitics US

China-US Tension Tracker – An Updated Timeline

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Last week’s US decision to close China’s consulate in Houston on the grounds of economic espionage has significantly escalated tensions between the two countries. Beijing retaliated by closing the US consulate in Chengdu, and any closure of the remaining consulates, such as Guangzhou or Shanghai, would deepen tensions even further.

While we had previously focused on potential investment and financial restrictions, more recent tensions have concentrated on military and diplomatic areas. The recent US military exercises in the South China Sea and the quartet of hawkish China speeches by key US officials highlight this shift. We include key snippets of these speeches below. We also update our table published in mid-June on the main measures the two sides have imposed or are threatening. In addition, we include a table on some of the Chinese companies and individuals facing US sanctions.
As US-China tension has increasingly shifted to non-tariff/non-trade aspects, the Q2 update on world trade uncertainty released last week showed a dramatic drop back through April-June. The broader World Uncertainty Index better captures the ongoing spat; this dropped back in Q2 but not by nearly as much.

Recent China Speeches – Key Quotes

Robert O’Brien, National Security Advisor
26 June 2020: The Chinese Communist Party’s Ideology and Global Ambitions
‘The Party [CCP] is collecting your most intimate data—your words, your actions, your purchases, your whereabouts, your health records, your social media posts, your texts, and mapping your network of friends, family, and acquaintances’.

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