If you want to know why Donald Trump shouldn’t expect to win a trade war against China, look no further than Alibaba, the country’s giant e-commerce version of Amazon. Last month, I had two in-depth conversations with Ming Zeng, the e-commerce giant’s head of strategic planning and among the smartest minds in business and finance in China. Ming made it clear that China has little real need for America any more – not U.S. products, but especially not U.S. ideas. When thwarted, China has shown it can think up its own. At the same time, the Trump administration seems to be doing its level best to run a competition calculated from the starting gate to lose the race, or the war, whichever it turns out to be. The U.S. president’s latest effort was to threaten a rise in tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods – from 10 percent to 25 percent. Within 24 hours, China quickly reciprocated with a list of 5,207 American products, worth $60 billion, on which it pledged to exact new tariffs...

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