A nasty thing about waging war is that your enemies have a habit of fighting back. That is a lesson German Chancellor Olaf Scholz would do well to keep in mind during his visit to China this week, amid a brewing trade fight over clean technology.

The visit comes within days of a trip by United States Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, who warned that "artificially cheap” Chinese-made electric vehicles, lithium-ion batteries and solar panels were causing "negative spillovers” in the U.S. and around the world. Far from calling a ceasefire in former President Donald Trump’s trade wars, the Biden administration appears now to be rearming in an attempt to neutralize the issue ahead of elections in November.

That puts Germany in an uncomfortable position. Thanks to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Berlin is already being forced to rethink its postwar commitment to pacifism. The increasingly entrenched U.S.-China trade tensions are forcing a similar reckoning with its multilateral approach to international commerce.