"It doesn't feel normal because we're not used to it", said David Spika, president of GuideStone Capital Management.
Washington and Beijing are going toe-to-toe in a trade spat, and Vietnam is set to become embroiled in the conflict, for better or for worse.
Shares were mixed in Asia on Wednesday, trading in a narrow range after overnight gains following conciliatory comments on trade by Chinese President Xi Jinping.
The US Navy recently conducted several "freedom of navigation" operations with warships sailing near increasingly militarized man-made Chinese islands in the South China Sea, triggering strong protests from Beijing. The official said the U.S. was expecting China to put concrete proposals forward.
He also said "Cold War mentality" and isolationism would "hit brick walls".
Chinese Vice Premier Liu He promised at the World Economic Forum in January that China would roll out fresh market openings this year, and that it would lower auto import tariffs in an "orderly way". To compensate for this damage, the USA intends to impose a 25 percent tariff on certain imports from China, including airplanes, computers, cell phones, and various electronic products and parts.
Trade talks between the world's biggest economies broke down last week after the Trump administration demanded that China curtail support for high-technology industries, a person familiar with the situation said, signaling that a resolution may be some ways off. And yet few of his pledges signaled much change.
The Chinese president pledged to "significantly lower" tariffs on auto imports while moving "as soon as possible" to ease rules restricting foreign ownership in the industry. It's still unclear when that will happen.
China is considering offering major concessions on trade and investment to the European Union and countries such as Japan and Mexico, the person said.
In February China's top economic planner published a list of "sensitive areas" where it intends to restrict overseas investments, putting a specific curb on deals related to property, hotels, cinemas, entertainment and sports clubs. The country has vowed for years to free up its markets, but foreign companies still struggle for the same access as domestic competitors.
China in a retaliatory measure, made a decision to impose additional tariff of 25 per cent on 106 products under 14 categories worth Dollars 50 billion.
The additional tariffs are being considered "in light of China's unfair retaliation" against earlier USA trade actions, which included a proposed $50 billion worth of tariffs on Chinese goods, Reuters quoted Trump as saying in a White House statement. "China relations", said Miles Yu Maochun, a China politics expert at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.
Trump then said he'd instructed his staff to explore an additional $100 billion in tariffs.
Xi's non-confrontational tone "took some heat out of the rhetoric", Peter Rosenstreich of Swissquote Bank says.
"The main driver was the speech by China's President overnight that helped to calm some concerns about a looming trade war", said Omer Esiner, chief market strategist with Commonwealth Foreign Exchange in Washington. Xi reinforced that past year when he spoke at Davos for the first time in a rousing defense of free trade and climate change.
The makeover has created behemoths such as China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation, the world's largest train-maker, and China National Energy Investment Group, the world's largest thermal power generator.