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This is the inside story of the US–China trade war, how relations between these superpowers unraveled, darkening prospects for global peace and prosperity, as told by two Wall Street Journal reporters, one based in Washington, D.C., the other in Beijing, who have had more access to the decision makers in the White House and in China’s Zhongnanhai leadership compound than anyone else.
The trade battle between China and the U.S. didn’t start with Trump and won’t end with him, argue Bob Davis and Lingling Wei. The two countries have a long and fraught political and economic history which has become more contentious over the past three years—an escalation that has negatively impacted both countries' economies and the world at large—and holds the potential for even more uncertainty and disruption.
How did this stand-off happen? How much are U.S. presidents and officials who haven't effectively confronted or negotiated with China to blame? What role have Chinese leaders, and U.S. business leaders who for decades acted as Beijing’s lobbyists in Washington, played in driving tensions between the two countries?
Superpower Showdown is the story of a romance gone bad. Uniquely positioned to tell the story, Davis and Wei have conducted hundreds of interviews with government and business officials in both nations over the seven years they have worked together writing for the Wall Street Journal. Analyzing U.S.–China relations, they explain how we have reached this tipping point, and look at where we could be headed. Vivid and provocative, Superpower Showdown will help readers understand the context of the trade war and prepare them for what may come next.
Bob Davis is a Pulitzer Prize-winning senior editor covering economic issues at the Wall Street Journal’s Washington D.C. bureau, and continues to write about China, where he was posted from 2011 to 2014. He has served as the Journal’s bureau chief in Brussels covering the European Union, and as the Latin America bureau chief. He lives in Washington, D.C.
Lingling Wei is an award-winning senior China correspondent, who was based in the Wall Street Journal’s Beijing bureau from 2011 until China expelled Journal reporters in the spring of 2020. Hailing from a farm province in southeastern China, she came of age as a journalist in New York and then returned to China in early 2011 to report on changes in her homeland. She is now based in New York and focuses on the intersection of Chinese politics and the economy.