Can the U.S. and China Attain a State of Competitive Coexistence?

This article was first published on Insights – Ripple
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As Singapore’s Ambassador to the United States for 16 years and now its Ambassador-at-Large, Chan Heng Chee has been actively involved in mitigating the impact of escalating tensions between the U.S. and China on both her home country and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). From the stage at Swell, she offered her take on the state of that relationship today as well as how it could evolve in the future and what it means for innovations like blockchain. 

A Policy of Technology Containment 
At its most basic, she says it’s difficult for one large superpower to understand another. Fundamental cultural differences can lead to misunderstandings and misperceptions of each country’s ambitions and intentions, fueling a repeating cycle of opposition with enormous implications for the world around them.

Recently, those cycles have continued to accelerate, launching a policy of what she termed Technology Containment. The most visible implementation of this policy has been the blacklisting of Huawei by the U.S. and its pressure on partner nations to do the same. That approach threatens to ensnare many other Chinese and Asian companies, potentially excluding them from U.S. partners and capital markets. 

It is also one factor in China’s experimentation with blockchain as a possible way to bypass the U.S. dollar as a reserve currency. This would not be a true decentralized currency because China would want to maintain some degree of control and avoid anonymity, but it would be functional in that it could enable direct settlement between countries for purposes of trade or transactions without having to rely on the dollar. 

Fortunately, the Ambassador said that the U.S. Treasury has worked behind the scenes to clarify the situation and relieve some pressure to avoid completely undermining the U.S. industry and ...

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