Multinational companies operating in China face unprecedented risks as US-China relations crater, supply chains swoon and hardline nationalism on both sides of the Pacific intensifies, US executives and a senior government official said on Friday.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is likely to compel China to reconsider any possible invasion of Taiwan as Beijing watches Moscow struggle, panellists at a Committee of 100 conference in Washington said. But they also noted that the conflict illustrates that geopolitical threats once viewed as minuscule can no longer be discounted.
“One more risk … and it’s a big one, is the risk of a catastrophic collapse in US-China relations,” said Robert Daly, director of the Wilson Center’s Kissinger Institute and a former US diplomat in Beijing.
“I don’t think it’s a high probability, but it’s not trivial, and it’s growing.”
The pandemic, meanwhile, has done more than cripple global supply chains and industries – seen, for example, with auto production in Shanghai – as Beijing enforces a zero-Covid strategy.