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No matter what trade deal is struck, the US and China are worlds apart. Huawei is the proof

28/03/2019 16:54
Top negotiators from the US and China will meet yet again in Beijing on Thursday and Friday, in the latest attempt by the world's two largest economies to hammer out a trade deal.

Since early 2018, the two governments have been locked in an escalating trade war, which has seen tariffs slapped on hundreds of billions of dollars of American and Chinese goods.

Hopes of an imminent -- and long-awaited -- trade agreement were bolstered recently with reports of a possible April summit between US President Donald Trump and China's Xi Jinping.

But regardless of the success of the talks, the two countries are likely to remain unreconciled on certain key political and economic fronts.

Chinese tech giant Huawei -- which on Friday will announce its annual results -- is the clearest illustration of that.

Over the past 12 months, the Trump administration has been exerting pressure on countries around the world to not use Huawei equipment in the development of next-generation 5G networks, maintaining that products produced by the Chinese company present a security risk.

In a bid to push back against Washington, this month Huawei filed a lawsuit against the US government, alleging unconstitutional discrimination.

The lawsuit serves as a reminder of the reasons the trade war was launched: The apparent disparity between the access and legal rights granted to Chinese companies operating in the West, compared to the tough trading conditions US companies face in China -- where some firms are required to enter into joint ventures with domestic partners in certain key sectors.