U.S.-China relations are bad, but are they ‘new Cold War’ bad?
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Plenty of Americans are only just starting to put masks on. But in Shanghai, they’re coming off, as the coronavirus appears to be under control.
Masks are only required while riding public transit and in a handful of public places such as shopping malls, Marketplace’s China correspondent, Jennifer Pak, told us. “It’s been sort of what you would call, quote unquote, ‘back to normal’ for a while,” she said.
Still, the pandemic has taken a toll on small businesses in China, many of which were already reeling from the ongoing trade war with the United States.
Broadly, the relationship between the world’s two largest economies is at a very, very low point. Trade talks have stalled out. U.S. leaders have raised security concerns surrounding Chinese tech firms like Huawei and ByteDance. The U.S. and several allies have condemned China’s treatment of Uighur Muslims. And China’s actions to erode Hong Kong’s autonomy have sown further divisions.
All that adds up to a situation some are calling a new Cold War.
Today, Pak told us about the view from her home base in Shanghai, what state media are saying and what’s going on with a potential ban on ByteDance’s mega-popular video app, TikTok. Later in the show, we’ll hear from a listener who’s wrestling with the child care crisis here at home and another who’s using lockdown to pick up (and stick with!) a new hobby. Plus Jed Kim, host of Marketplace’s newest podcast, “Million Bazillion,” answers the Make Me Smart question.
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You can find all of Pak’s reporting from Shanghai here. Here’s a list of everything we talked about today:
- “Caught in ‘Ideological Spiral,’ U.S. and China Drift Toward Cold War” from The New York Times
- “The U.S.-China trade war quietly escalates” from Axios
- “TikTok’s Huge Data Harvesting Prompts U.S. Security Concerns” from Bloomberg
- “European Union Leaders Agree on Spending Plan for Recovery” from The Wall Street Journal
- “I’m a Parent. And a Bad Teacher. All I Do Is Panic About School.” from columnist Jason Gay in The Wall Street Journal
- “Wisconsin one of just 5 states sticking to in-person bar exam this month” from Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
- “Why this pandemic is a good time to stop forcing prospective lawyers to take bar exams” by recent Make Me Smart guest Valerie Strauss in the Washington Post
- “Requiring a bar exam in 2020 perpetuates systemic inequities in the legal system” from the Appeal
- …And more from a very active Twitter conversation about the bar exam.
- “Fake Apple Store in China even fools staff” from Reuters
- Plus, an update on Justin Trudeau’s hair
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