In this photo from May 4, 201
BEIJING – In a looming trade war between the two largest economies in the world, American companies in China may have turned their backs on the back.
The Trump government is pushing China will reduce its trade surplus with the United States by $ 200 billion by the end of 2020 and abandon the policy in favor of domestic companies – the core of Beijing's state economic model.
With the two sides sharing the threat of tariff increases, their unilateral trade balance means that China will not receive any more imports before President Donald Trump does.
But Beijing has other ways to cause pain. The most important among them is the harassment of American companies that produce cars, run restaurant chains, sell computer software, and do other business in China's highly regulated economy.
Other possible options include the sale of US sovereign debt or the disruption of diplomatic efforts to protect North Korea harms Beijing's own interests.
Trump faces higher tariffs on $ 150 billion of Chinese goods in response to complaints that Beijing violates its free trade obligations by stealing or pressurizing foreign companies.
Beijing responded to its first round of a $ 50 billion list including American planes, soybeans and pork for possible retaliation. If it is high enough to match Trump's total, that would be equivalent to the Chinese imports of US goods in 2017.
The Department of Commerce has warned that no option is off the table.
GOALS OF AMERICAN ENTERPRISES  Chinese regulators have wide discretion and an arsenal of tools to prevent US companies from holding licenses for tax, antimonopoly or other investigations.
The American chip manufacturer Qualcomm Inc. could serve as an early example. China is the last major government to reject Qualcomm's proposal for the $ 44 billion acquisition of rival NXP Semiconductors.
In April, the Commerce Department said Qualcomm's proposal "is having trouble" to resolve the concerns of Chinese anti-monopoly regulators. Qualcomm and NXP announced on 19 April that the Chinese companies had withdrawn an application for a withdrawal of the application at the request of the Chinese Ministry.
China's state-controlled media have spurred consumer boycotts against Japanese, South Korean, and other products Disputes with these governments
"China can hurt US interests by restricting the operations of multinational corporations," said Jin Canrong, foreign relations specialist at Renmin University in Beijing, on the website wallstreetcn.com.  Jin pointed to the example of South Korean retailer Lotte, whose business was destroyed by Beijing last year after selling land to the Seoul government for a missile defense system fought by Chinese leaders.
Beijing retaliated by closing most of Lotte's 99 supermarkets and other outlets in China. Seoul and Beijing later repaired relations, but South Korean news reported that Lotte has abandoned China and is trying to sell its stores.
"We already hear that permits for some types of licenses for US companies are granted," the Eurasia Group said in a report.
Chinese commentators say Beijing has financial weapons, but its use would cost China's own economy and international reputation.
Nationalists point to China's $ 1.2 trillion in US government debt as a lever. But Beijing would suffer losses if it sold enough to influence US debt financing costs. And there are few other places where such huge foreign exchange reserves are kept.
Beijing could also hinder US investment in China, commentator Ren Zeping wrote about money.163.com. But that would also bring costs by aggravating a fall in investment that Chinese leaders are trying to reverse.
Regulators may push the government-controlled exchange rate for China's yuan against the dollar. This could help Chinese exporters and make imports from the US more expensive. But it would cause political costs by hurting other trading partners and making Beijing reckless, possibly destabilizing financial markets.
Beijing may ask for support from US allies, angered by Trump's "America's First Approach and US withdrawal from the Paris Climate Pact and the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership, a regional trade agreement
Trump's unilateral actions have allowed China, the largest closed major economy, to position itself as a defender of freedom trade, which could help Beijing defeat governments that have criticized Trump for acting outside the World Trade Organization
China is a "central pillar" of the global trading system, "and we want to fully cooperate with China, the UN Secretary-General. Antonio Guterres said during a visit to Beijing last month.
Beijing also has potential support from American companies and business groups that have criticized Trump and favored globalization.
In a broader sense, Chinese commentators have suggested that Beijing could also interfere with diplomatic work North Korea's nuclear and missile programs or other initiatives. However, analysts believe this would jeopardize the reconquest of Chinese leaders.
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