You are here

Video: Superpower Showdown, Bob Davis and Lingling Wei take us inside the trade war

Bob Davis and Lingling Wei, authors of Superpower Showdown, help us understand the ramp up of US-China economic tensions and the far-reaching consequences of the stand-off.  


July 17, 2020

About the Book

Superpower Showdown is the inside story of the US–China trade war, how relations between these superpowers unraveled, darkening prospects for global peace and prosperity, as told by two Wall Street Journal reporters, one based in Washington, D.C., the other in Beijing, who have had more access to the decision makers in the White House and in China’s Zhongnanhai leadership compound than anyone else.

The trade battle between China and the U.S. didn’t start with Trump and won’t end with him, argue Bob Davis and Lingling Wei. The two countries have a long and fraught political and economic history which has become more contentious over the past three years—an escalation that has negatively impacted both countries' economies and the world at large—and holds the potential for even more uncertainty and disruption.

How did this stand-off happen? How much are U.S. presidents and officials who haven't effectively confronted or negotiated with China to blame? What role have Chinese leaders, and U.S. business leaders who for decades acted as Beijing’s lobbyists in Washington, played in driving tensions between the two countries?

Superpower Showdown is the story of a romance gone bad.


This video is also available at the USCI YouTube channel (please subscribe).

About the Authors

Bob Davis is a Pulitzer Prize–winning senior editor at the Wall Street Journal’s Washington, DC, bureau. He covers economic issues and continues to write about China, where he was posted from 2011 to 2014. Davis has served as the Journal’s bureau chief in Brussels, covering the European Union, and as the Latin America bureau chief. He started focusing globalization  the early 1990s and covered China's entry into the World Trade Organization. He lives in Washington, DC.

Lingling Wei is an award-winning senior China correspondent at the Wall Street Journal who works now in New York City.  Hailing from a farm province in southeastern China, she came of age as a journalist in New York and then returned to China in early 2011 to report on changes in her homeland. She was forced to leave Beijing in 2020 when China expelled American journalists. She focuses on the intersection of Chinese politics and the economy.

Click here for the event listing.