WASHINGTON—The Trump administration’s cascade of actions taken against Beijing characterize a new chapter in U.S.-China relations, a single marked by rising confrontation and few endeavours to de-escalate the tensions.

Business enterprise leaders, scholars and other individuals concerned in U.S.-China relations say that even though the administration’s moves clearly have an electoral component—the president is campaigning on being tough on China—they go well further than the 2020 election. Previous confrontations amongst the two nations have been limited as they sought…