Will the 21st century be the one of the first business world war?

There could be a new world war looming in which politics, business and intelligence intertwine. The notion of economic war is certainly not new, but the United States, the world’s largest economic power since the 1920s, had no real opponent in the last century to challenge its supremacy and especially not the Soviet Union, a military colossus with economic feet of clay.

At the start of the new millennium, the European Union (EU) is struggling to organize but is showing some desire to respond to what it perceives as feverishness and aggression on the part of its American ally. Most importantly, China has awakened and seems able to seize world economic leadership by 2035 to 2050 according to various estimates.

Faced with a 4.25 times more populous China where the state is omnipresent in the national economy, the United States seems to hesitate between negotiation and confrontation, like the Trump administration negotiating a trade agreement with Beijing while the Chief Financial Officer of China’s Huawei Group, the world’s largest producer of telecommunications equipment, is jailed in Canada at the request of US justice.

What was being done behind the scenes in the past now makes big headlines and governments are no longer hesitant to step up to denounce such action against a company as an act of direct aggression against themselves.

Increasingly, and as China and other countries gain in economic clout, investors have to incorporate into their thinking process the increasingly conflicting dimension of global economic relations and the sometimes sudden uncertainty that it generates and which has already been seen concerning the forecasts on the ability of Washington and Beijing to seal a lasting agreement.