Nikolaus Doll writing in Die Welt today, citing analysis from Kuang-Hua Lin, head of consulting firm Asia-Pacific Management Consulting:

The US president’s punitive tariffs are supposedly directed against China. But of all governments, the Beijing leadership has reacted the most nonchalantly. There are two reasons for this…

The Chinese leadership simply doesn’t feel itself strong enough for an economic test of strength with the US… The stability of the huge country is mainly based on high and constant economic growth. A trade conflict… always leads to economic damage on both sides. China will react to the latest attacks not with a counter-offense, but intensify its efforts for a free trade agreement with Europe, and thus isolate the US…

“If economic growth is pushed down as a result of economic conflict, it would be fatal for the Communist Party, it would not risk it,” Kuang-Hua Lin said. “People are happy in the country for as long as prosperity keeps growing and the prospects are still good.”