Shenzhen — Visitors to the Shenzhen headquarters of Huawei — the Chinese company that has been at the centre of the US-China trade war — are struck by the ubiquity of one photograph. It is displayed on the walls of the reception, in the coffee shop, and on cardboard prints handed out by Ren Zhengfei, the company’s founder and CEO.

The grainy, black-and-white image shows a Second World War Soviet warplane so badly damaged by enemy fire it has gaping holes in its wings and body...

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