Anyone who expects China to concede defeat in its trade war with the U.S. should read about Biobase Group. The Chinese manufacturer of laboratory equipment once struggled to win orders even at home in an industry dominated by foreign products. But the company’s prospects have brightened as the trade war prompts customers to turn to domestic alternatives.

“The local market was heavily reliant on imports,” Biobase’s chairman was quoted as saying. “Now, it's different. Opportunities beckon.” The story is from the state-run China Daily, so take it with a trailer-truck-sized grain of salt. But it makes an important point: The Chinese government is happy when its citizens buy locally made instead of American products. Of the many misperceptions driving Donald Trump’s trade policy, this may be the most dangerous: China isn’t desperate to maintain its interdependent relationship with the U.S. Rather, it’s a national objective to become more economically independent. That’s a quite dif...

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