In Washington, there is no longer widespread support for engagement with China, while in Beijing, debates over the role of the state in the economy, driven by a fear of falling into the middle-income trap, are limiting progress in implementing economic reforms.
President Trump’s use of tariffs has hardened Chinese views and limited Beijing’s ability to make concessions, even if they are in China’s self-interest, without appearing weak.
In this podcast, Paul Haenle spoke with Jia Qingguo, professor at and former dean of the School of International Studies at Peking University, about the many factors hampering trade negotiations and the deeper structural issues in the U.S.-China relationship.
In this episode, Paul Haenle spoke with Evan Medeiros, former special assistant to the president and senior director for Asian affairs at the National Security Council, on escalating tensions between Japan and South Korea and the implications for the United States and China.
The notion that Beijing has become a strategic rival does not ring true for many across the United States. However, policymakers in Washington are pushing a more confrontational approach to the bilateral relationship.
Upheavals and changing political dynamics across the Middle East are threatening to destabilize the region. External powers, notably the United States and China, are shifting their tactics, as Washington rebalances its presence and Beijing expands its economic interests.
Beijing and New Delhi’s simultaneous rise has led both countries to take a more assertive approach to issues such as border disputes, resulting in the Doklam crisis. There are, however, opportunities for practical cooperation between China and India.
As China’s presence in the region grows, it will be difficult for Beijing to maintain strong economic ties while avoiding taking sides on political issues. Whether or not it can remain a neutral party is an open question going forward.
In recent weeks Beijing has both won victories and suffered defeats during important summits and dialogues with France and Italy, as well as the European Union.
The original rationale for U.S.-China engagement collapsed following the breakup of the Soviet Union. Since then, successive U.S. administrations have struggled to put forward an enduring foundation for bilateral ties.