Chen said deteriorating bilateral relations are due to both the Trump administration’s trade policies and a growing U.S. consensus that foreign policy toward China should be reevaluated. The Chinese government’s view that industrial policy is a legitimate tool to promote economic growth stands in stark contrast to the U.S. position that market forces should play a leading role in economic development. Chen agreed with Haenle that a clear line between the market and state should be drawn, or else policies such as Made in China 2025 will remain major points of bilateral contention. The rapid pace of technological development makes it difficult to predict the full breadth of technology’s future impact on global affairs, Chen said. However, he argued governments should study the implications of emerging technologies on foreign policy, as they will play a consequential role in the future of great power relations.
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 is a professor at Jinan University and a nonresident fellow at the Global Public Policy Institute in Berlin, Germany.