Re: War or Commerce?
Unfortunately, all previous US administrations have taken your approach – i.e. just let China get away with whatever it wants in terms of predatory trade practices and IP theft. This has gone on so long that any corrective measures will be seen as ‘belligerent’.
You may well believe that standing up for your own manufacturers is crass, and the Chinese certainly believed that the US approach was doomed to fail (as no previous administration has had what it takes to stand up to them for long) but it is having massive repercussions in China, including rumblings from senior party members against Xi (not something that is usually tolerated). The trade imbalance is such that the tariffs 'tit-for-tat' affects China far more than the US and with Chinese growth having slowed to its lowest for 20 years, they are starting to be a lot more conciliatory than they have ever been before.