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If you want to understand the developing trade war with China, the first thing you need to realize is that nothing Donald Trump is doing makes sense. His views on trade are incoherent. His demands are incomprehensible. And he vastly overrates his ability to inflict damage on China while underrating the damage China can do in return.

如果你想看清正在同中国打的这场贸易战,你需要认识的第一件事是,特朗普正在做的一切事情毫无意义。他关于贸易的观点是前后不一的,他的要求是令人费解的。而且他大大高估了他给中国带来破坏的能力,同时又低估了中国反过来能够给美国带来的破坏。

The second thing you need to realize is that China’s response so far has been fairly modest and measured, at least considering the situation. The U.S. has implemented or announced tariffs on virtually everything China sells here, with average tariff rates not seen in generations. The Chinese, by contrast, have yet to deploy anything like the full range of tools at their disposal to offset Trump’s actions and hurt his political base.

你需要认识的第二件事是,迄今为止,中国的反应是相当温和、有分寸的,至少考虑到当前的局势是如此。美国事实上已经执行了或者宣布了对中国在这里出售的一切商品加税,平均关税税率是过去几代人所没有见过的。相比之下,中国还没有使用他们可以动用的众多反制手段以抵消特朗普的行动和伤害他的政治基础。



Um, what happens when “massive amounts of money” pour into your country? Your currency rises, which is exactly what Trump is complaining about. And if lots of money were flooding out of China, the yuan would be plunging, not experiencing the trivial (2 percent) decline that Treasury condemned.
Oh well. I guess arithmetic is just a hoax perpetrated by the deep state.

真的吗,当“大量资金”涌入你的国家时会发生什么?你的货币会升值,这恰恰就是特朗普一直抱怨的事情。

Still, even if Trump isn’t making sense, will China give in to his demands? The short answer is, “What demands?” Trump mainly seems exercised by China’s trade surplus with America, which has multiple causes and isn’t really under the Chinese government’s control.

不过,就算特朗普不讲理,那么中国会屈服于他的要求吗?简短的回答是:“看是什么要求?”特朗普看来主要是针对中国对美国有贸易顺差采取行动,这种贸易顺差的形成有多种原因,实际上并不在中国政府的控制之下。

Others in his administration seem concerned by China’s push into high-technology industries, which could indeed threaten U.S. dominance. But China is both an economic superpower and relatively poor compared with the U.S.; it’s grossly unrealistic to imagine that such a country can be bullied into scaling back its technological ambitions.

特朗普政府中的其他人担心中国大力发展高科技产业——这可能真的会威胁到美国的主导地位。但与美国相比,中国既是一个经济超级大国,也是相对贫穷的国家。设想这样一个国家在胁迫下收回其科技雄心,是非常不现实的。



So Trump is in a much weaker position than he imagines, and my guess is that China’s mini-duation of its currency was an attempt to educate him in that reality. But I very much doubt he has learned anything. His administration has been steadily hemorrhaging people who know anything about economics, and reports indicate that Trump isn’t even listening to the band of ignoramuses he has left.

因此,特朗普的处境比他想象的要差得多。我的猜测是中国使其货币稍稍贬值是试图用现实教育特朗普,但是我非常怀疑他从中学到了哪怕一丁点东西。他的政府一直在持续地大量流失懂经济的人。