As U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration approaches, uncertainty looms over the future of U.S-China policy. In part one of this two-part podcast, Paul Haenle spoke with Chen Dingding, an international relations professor at Jinan University and founding director of the Intellisia Institute, about the Chinese reaction to Trump’s election and his views on how it could impact future bilateral relations. 

Ahead of the November elections, Chen predicted not only that Trump would win the election, but also that he would do it with at least 286 electoral college votes, that a Rust Belt blue state would flip to red, and that Congress would stay in Republican control. Chen said he reached these conclusions by paying attention to the “silent voter” phenomenon in the Midwest and the tremendous support Trump received in rural areas. When it comes to Trump’s inauguration rhetoric and tweets, Chen expressed concern that Trump is sending confusing signals that could cause instability and divert current discussions on issues involving the United States and China. An emerging consensus remains to be seen, Chen said, on whether Donald Trump will be very good, or very bad, for U.S.-China relations. 

Paul Haenle

Paul Haenle is the director of the Carnegie–Tsinghua Center for Global Policy based at Tsinghua University in Beijing. Haenle’s research focuses on Chinese foreign policy and U.S.-China relations.

Chen Dingding

Chen Dingding is a professor of international relations at Jinan University and a nonresident fellow at the Global Public Policy Institute in Berlin, Germany.