Shaun Rein

US ambassador to China Gary Locke has been warning about the danger of internet developments in China going into a wrong direction. China analyst and author Shaun Rein fears China’s backlash, and a possible trade war later this year in CNBC.


In an interview with NPR’s Steve Inskeep, Locke said there is growing frustration among the Chinese people over the “operations of government, corruption, lack of transparency” and he referenced China’s “Jasmine Revolution” last February, which was modeled on the pro-democracy demonstrations seen across the Middle East.

Shaun Rein, Founder & Managing Director, China Market Research Group believes the statement won’t be taken lightly and says this incident just adds to the risk of a trade war between the U.S. and China.

“Many in China take Ambassador Locke’s words as misguided at best, or trying to contain China at worst,” he said. “After President Obama’s announcement to rotate 2500 marines to Darwin, Australia, many within China are pushing for the government to take a muscular course to show America it cannot be pushed around and end American hegemony in the region.”

But, Rein doesn’t expect a strong reaction from China just yet because Vice-President Xi Jinping‘s is expected to visit the Washington in the coming weeks.

“Both sides will use strong rhetoric at the foreign service level but the real leaders will make a show of friendship or partnership in the days leading up to the meetings,” he said.

However, Rein says Beijing will retaliate over the next six months by making China a more difficult environment for American firms, through means such as taking longer to approve business licenses.

More in CNBC.

Shaun Rein is a speaker at the China Speakers Bureau. Do you need him at your meeting or conference? Do get in touch or fill in our speakers’ request form.

Shaun Rein is the author of the upcoming book The End of Cheap China: Economic and Cultural Trends that will Disrupt the World
More about Shaun Rein and his book at Storify.

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