Some serious discussions are going on in China as the country faces an escalating trade war with the United States, slowing domestic growth and increasing investment restrictions in the US and Europe.

There seems to be recognition that the previous playbook drafted by hardliners has not worked and Beijing needs to change its strategy.

Beijing’s strategy of a tit-for-tat retaliation over tariffs has clearly failed. In fact, this strategy escalated the conflict. The direct retaliation after the US announced the first batch of 25 per cent tariffs on US$50 billion in Chinese goods (with the increase from US$34 billion just finalised and coming into effect on August 23) brought few benefits for China.

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