The Tale of the Tape Can’t Measure US – China Trade War

The US - China trade war drags on as China has retaliated with its latest round of tariffs worth $60 billion. Now, the question seems to be: who’s going to win? Let’s take a look at some socio-cultural features that could be the determining factors to this economical conflict.

Size doesn’t matter. You’ve heard it before. You’ve heard it being applied to a variety of contexts. The saying is conveyed in many stories and forms, like David and Goliath, or “it’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog”.

But, we’re also told that there’s nothing we can be a hundred percent sure about, even about not being a hundred percent sure. So, we must consider the context and equate it with probability, and not just possibility.


Maybe the main reason why David won Goliath is because Goliath was so big. If Goliath was smaller and quick, he would’ve been much harder to hit with a slingshot. Could a Tiny Terrier really win in a dog fight against a Rottweiler? Probably not. But what if the particular Rottweiler has a phobia against smaller dogs? Possible, right?

The Tiny Terrier will probably beat the Rottweiler commercially considering economic and socio-cultural factors. Digitalization of security, and increasing urbanization of residential areas will make the Rottweiler uneconomical and a safety hazard.


However, we are talking about two highly sophisticated societies, and the context of comparison must be defined within specific and relevant criterias. The US and China has a paradoxical reflection of each other, which makes numeric measurements between the two societies very difficult as determining factors.

They just don’t function that same ways. For example, China’s large population was capitalized for labor making its manufacturing economical, and remains a key political advantage of China as the necessity for tight governmental control. A large US population will probably cripple its economy.


The trade war itself has developed from what was portrayed as an abrupt and idiosyncratic instigation from US president Donald Trump to an existential struggle for dominance between two of the most powerful societies in human history, and their correlating norms.

Politically for the US to trump, the US needs things to move at a pace where its own dynamic political structure doesn’t become a problem. The US needs to deal swift justice for the economic crimes China has perpetrated. Crimes that are detrimental not just to the US economy, but the global economy altogether. Crimes against the development of humankind.

If the trade war drags on and on till presidential term elections, and the economic armament Trump instigated is dismantled by a new POTUS, the whole trade war will look like a rash and irrational political tactic by an eccentric businessman who got elected through America’s electoral flaw.


For China to triumph, China must trench itself for a war of attrition. Xi must further consolidate his grip on the vast nation and its population, as well as continue to garner more allies that are against the US through offers of opportunities for economic development.

The Chinese narrative must be its reemergence to the globe’s epicenter, a return to its rightful place that was taken away by the foreign axis bent on imperialism, that China’s long heritage when galvanized with the Chinese Communist Party’s economical farsight is righteously the apex of human civilization. And that, to realize the Chinese Dream sacrifices must be contributed by everyone in every societal tier.


It’s the story that creates the hero and villain, not the other way around. And the winners are usually the ones telling the story, usually their story.


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