US President Donald Trump is right. It is not every day you will read those words in the Financial Times, but the US president is correct when he says China does not play by the same trade and investment rules as the West. He is also right to point out that past attempts to deal with this imbalance have not worked. That is the consensus among most countries and foreign businesses operating in China, even though they have been unwilling to complain too loudly for fear of being shut out of the Chinese market. This is starting to change. Faced with an increasingly hostile operating environment in China and growing competition from Chinese counterparts abroad, many large companies are now asking their politicians to get tough on Beijing. China’s average import tariffs are around double those of the US and UK. But it has also erected numerous non-tariff trade barriers that exclude whole industries or countries, often for explicitly political reasons. When, for example, the dissident Liu ...

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