It’s been 189 days and we’ve still seen no substantive progress in the so-called trade-war between the US and China.

However, even if a deal is reached, and no matter how satisfying it may be for both sides, it will still not be able to solve a fundamental problem between the two superpowers—or indeed between China and the West. The two countries have assumptions about the world that are fundamentally different, including varying ideas about the role of the state.

Like great tectonic plates, the US and China have been constantly rubbing up against each other and it is only recently that the friction has become enough to be felt. Ultimately, the two sides just do not understand each other well enough to trust each other. For example, look at China’s strong reaction to the arrest of Meng Wanzhou in Canada while “experts” in the US consistently oversimplify China’s economic and political situation.

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John Artman

John Artman is the Editor in Chief for TechNode, the leading English information source for news and insight into China’s tech and startups, and co-host of the China Tech Talk podcast, a regular discussion...