There is an emerging danger that rivalry for strategic influence in the western Pacific will damage trade and investment relations.
As if this is a bad thing. “rivalry for strategic influence in the Western Pacific” is a euphemism for the PRC’s seizure and occupation of the South China Sea and the islands in it, and the PRC’s terraforming of many of those islands and subsequent construction of military bases on them.
The only reason for the grab and the military build up is to intimidate the other nations rimming the Sea, nations who are, variously, our trading partners, our friends, and potentially our allies—and friends. The PRC’s goal is to drive us out of the Sea, which can only damage our trade and investment relations with the region as a whole.
Our economic relations with the PRC do not need to come at the expense of any of that.