- The US and China are edging towards a potential military conflict over Taiwan, Ray Dalio has warned.
- President Xi appeared to hint at war when he warned China to prepare for a “dangerous storm” last month.
- “This is scaring just about everyone, which is paralyzing activity,” the Bridgewater founder said.
The US and China look like they’re moving towards a military conflict over Taiwan that would crush economic growth, influential investor Ray Dalio has warned.
The Bridgewater Associates founder said the threat of war is already weighing on the global economy – and that the two superpowers are dangerously close to escalating ongoing tensions into a full-blown military conflict.
“The United States and China are now in a trade war, a technology war, a geopolitical influence war, and a capital/economic war, and they are now dangerously close to a military war,” Dalio wrote in a LinkedIn post published Tuesday.
“This is scaring just about everyone, which is paralyzing activity, leading to the inefficient building of self-sufficiency in many ways, which is economically costly,” he said.
“The mere perception that military war is a possibility has a negative effect on markets and economic activity. Obviously, the reality of it would be disastrous,” he added.
Dalio’s warning comes after US President Joe Biden met face-to-face with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping for the first time since taking office Monday, when they signaled they wanted to improve relations strained by tensions over Taiwan.
But a few days earlier, Xi told China’s army to step up military training in preparation for war, the Guardian reported. And at the end of the Chinese Communist Party Congress in October, Xi told his country to brace for a “dangerous storm”.
Experts including top investor Kyle Bass said Xi’s speech at the congress signaled Beijing was preparing to move on Taiwan.
War in Taiwan is most likely to happen in around two years’ time, Dalio predicted, given the more hawkish Republican party is favored to win the next US presidential election and a global economic downturn is likely to cause desperation.
“The 2024 elections in the United States and in Taiwan, Japanese rearmament, and the likelihood of worse global economic conditions around that time make 2024 to 2025 an especially risky period,” he said.
Dalio compared a US-China conflict to Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine, with Western countries likely to sanction Chinese goods if an attack on Taiwan did happen.
“Just the possibility of more intense war with the United States is having detrimental effects on the world,” he said.
“Imagine if investing or producing in China or buying Chinese goods became politically like it is for doing these things with Russia.”
That is already causing importers and investors to look to other countries, according to the billionaire investor.
“Because of this possibility, companies are shifting production to other countries like India, Vietnam, and Mexico and investors are doing the same,” Dalio said.