Escalating trade tensions between the US and China would have manifested with or without Donald Trump, specialists said at the Singapore Culmination on Saturday.

While the U.S. president’s “crazy” ways have intensified it, he’s just a side effect of world improvements that have hastened the tensions, and not the cause, pointed out Dani Rodrik, a professor at Harvard College.

“I think we must not exaggerate the importance of Trump,” said Rodrik, who is a professor of international political economy at the John F Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.

“I think Trump is a lot of a side effect and not the cause … Regardless of whether Trump is leader of the US or not, in many ways we’ll be facing such tensions,” he said pointing to structural issues on the planet economy and rivalry between rising financial and political forces. “These are broad-based reactions to the kind of financial approaches that we’ve sought after in the last quarter century.”

“Unfortunately, Trump isn’t making it easy for us because of the crazy way wherein he’s managing it,” added Rodrik.

He said the upside of everything was that Trump has “instincts” yet unfortunately, no drawn out strategy.

A few examples of his “basic instincts” were that “sends out are acceptable, imports are bad,” Rodrik said. “Whatever is beneficial for me must be bad for you, and the other way around,” he added.

“Then again, he’s not the kind of individual who finishes, he can be easily occupied,” he closed.

The U.S. and China have been secured a trade battle, imposing blow for blow tariffs on each other. In Trump’s latest move, he purportedly approved tariffs of another $200 million on Chinese products which could be come as early as this week.

George Yeo, Singapore’s previous remote minister, said at the meeting that the “issue on everyone’s mind” here was the ascent of China. The trade war is nevertheless one manifestation in the tensions between the world’s two largest economies which could continue for a considerable length of time, he added.

There’s a growing anxiety in the U.S. about China’s ascent, said Yeo, who is at present chairman of coordinations company Kerry Coordinations System. He pointed to how previous White House Boss Strategist Steve Bannon said it was a “monetary war” and not a trade war.

“For Subside Navarro, it’s Death by China,” Yeo added, referring to Best’s trade advisor and savage China pundit, who composed a book of that title.

“It’s not hard for a monetary war to turn into a political war to turn into a real war,” he said.

The two superpowers need to find an “accommodation” in this multi-polar world, Rodrik focused. China may say that it realizes how to manage its economy, and the West needs to perceive Asia’s largest economy has its own model.

“Then again, I think China should understand that it has been a free rider on the framework created by the U.S., of receptiveness, and it would have to give a certain amount of … arrangement space for the Europeans and the Americans as well,” he said, adding that this would be an example of “peaceful conjunction.”

“China is playing the long game,” Rodrick’s said, and the inquiry is the means by which the world can accommodate such another force.

“I see Trump really as a temporary marvel, there are more profound issues,” he finished up.

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