U.S.-China Insights

The Trade War's Global Consequences with Natalia Gurushina

When the world’s two largest economies become mired in trade conflict, there are bound to be global consequences. As analysts predict increasing risk for a global economic downturn, VanEck’s Chief Emerging Markets Economist Natalia Gurushina looks at what the trade war might mean for other countries, and explains how these consequences could have unforeseen repercussions for both the United States and China.

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Amy Celico on Protectionism in U.S.-China Trade

The role government should play in the free market has always been a contentious issue, even more so when international trade jeopardizes national security. As the standoff between the United States and China continues, disagreements over what constitutes mutually acceptable trade practices are becoming more entrenched, with both governments accusing the other of interference and overreach. Watch Amy Celico of Albright Stonebridge Group discuss how concerns over economic competition and national security inform U.S. implementation of trade strategies like market protectionism and ‘securitization.’

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LGBTQ Issues in the United States and China: A Conversation with Jay Gilliam

Advocating for the LGBTQ community takes different forms in the United States and China, with domestic politics and cultural norms influencing how organizations raise awareness and provide services in each country. One of the leading LGBTQ rights organizations in the United States is the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), whose director of global, Jay Gilliam, participated in the National Committee’s Professional Fellows Program in 2018. Through this two-way exchange program for emerging NGO leaders, Mr. Gilliam spent two weeks at the Zhitong Guangzhou LGBT Center, where he learned about the organization and shared insights from his work at HRC. In this interview, he explains the differences between HRC and Zhitong’s programming, how healthcare and LGBTQ issues intersect, and social attitudes toward the LGBTQ community in both countries.

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Evan Medeiros on the 'Securitization' of the U.S.-China Relationship

The U.S.-China relationship is clearly undergoing a transformation: after 40 years of normalized diplomatic relations, the status quo no longer seems acceptable to either side. One of the largest shifts has been the emergence of strategic issues as a greater factor in bilateral interactions. Dr. Evan S. Medeiros of Georgetown University explains this ‘securitization’ of the relationship, how it affects trade and diplomacy, and whether it represents a long-term trend.

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Weiping Wu: Recent Developments in China's Urbanization

Since the beginning of China’s reform era in 1978, the country’s urban population has grown by 40%, with 813 million people now living in its cities. That number is predicted to reach one billion by 2030, continuing the unprecedented migration from rural to urban areas. Dr. Weiping Wu of Columbia University provides insight into the complicated process of China’s urbanization, from its hukou registration system to the ever-evolving definition of what constitutes a city, and contrasts the United States’ urban development to China’s.

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Oriana Skylar Mastro on the U.S. and China: A New Cold War?

In the decades following World War II, global geopolitics were dominated by two superpowers: the United States and the U.S.S.R. The Cold War era was defined by estrangement and the threat posed by a nuclear arms race between the two countries. Today, there is growing consensus that the United States is entering into a new kind of cold war with another communist superpower: China. As the U.S.-China trade war heats up—potentially morphing into a larger technology war—and competition becomes the primary dynamic, what parallels can be made? Dr. Oriana Skylar Mastro of Georgetown University and the American Enterprise Institute explains why U.S. relations with China differ from those with the former Soviet Union, and why a new cold war might not be the worst outcome.

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Shen Danxi: Comparing Chinese and American Philanthropy

As China’s economy continues to develop, and individuals and private companies amass greater wealth, another area of growth is the philanthropic sector. Shen Danxi, a 2018 Richard Rockefeller Fellow and deputy secretary general of the Sany Foundation, talks about how her foundation represents a new generation of Chinese philanthropy, and what she sees as the key differences between American and Chinese foundations.

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Scott Kennedy on Huawei's Role in the Global Tech Sector

As tensions continue to escalate between the United States and China, technology has become a focal point of growing bilateral competition. One of China’s top high-tech companies, Huawei, is the subject of scrutiny from competitors as well as governments across the globe, as it faces accusations of violating sanctions, stealing trade secrets, and compromising user privacy. Nevertheless, Huawei is at the forefront in the commercialization of 5G technology, the next generation of wireless networks that will power our phones, computers, and even autonomous vehicles. Dr. Scott Kennedy of CSIS explains how Huawei got its start, how secure its devices are, and what its role will be in the tech sector for years to come.

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Nicholas Lardy on Economic Reform in China: Past, Present, and Future

As the Chinese state—under the leadership of President Xi Jinping—continues to exert more control over China’s economy through its policies, prospects for future reforms seem uncertain. Dr. Nicholas R. Lardy of the Peterson Institute explains why economic reform has been so important to Chinese society over the past 40 years and shares his perspective on whether the country’s reform period has indeed ended.

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Ben Harburg: A View of the U.S.-China Trade War From Beijing

Recent challenges in the U.S.-China economic relationship have been well-documented in the United States and debated from every point of view. But how is the trade war viewed by the U.S. business community in China? As an American working in Beijing, Ben Harburg, managing partner of MSA Capital, gives his interpretation of the short- and long-term effects of this tension in the relationship.

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Kelly Sims Gallagher on U.S.-China Climate Policy After the Paris Agreement

The Paris Climate Agreement marked a breakthrough in international cooperation on climate change, with 196 states and the European Union negotiating a pact in December 2015 to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. The United States and China, the top two emitters of greenhouse gases on the planet, announced their intentions to join the agreement in April 2016. Since then, President Donald Trump has vowed to withdraw from the agreement, while China has reaffirmed its commitment to meeting the targets outlined within.

Kelly Sims Gallagher, professor of energy and environmental policy at Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and a senior policy advisor on science and technology to the Obama administration during the talks, provides insight into the negotiation process. She describes the steps taken to reach the agreement, and the alternating progress and stagnation in Chinese and American climate policies in the years since.

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Kai-Fu Lee on the Future of A.I. in the United States and China

The influence of artificial intelligence on our world is only growing, as smart home products, algorithm-based streaming platforms, and even autonomous vehicles become a part of our daily lives. Since the 1990s, American tech companies in Silicon Valley have dominated the development and application of AI-driven technologies. However, AI pioneer Dr. Kai-Fu Lee explains that China has rapidly caught up with the United States, accelerating AI innovation and implementation in our daily lives. Lee argues that the future of AI will be even larger than the industrial revolution, posing unprecedented challenges and responsibilities for both AI superpowers. Are the United States and China going to cooperate or compete?

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Yu Zhou on "Made in China 2025"

China's high-tech industries have grown rapidly in recent years, as companies like Tencent and Alibaba achieve global name recognition and the quality of the country's digital infrastructure improves. To accelerate the development of its industrial capacity, Beijing has launched ‘Made in China 2025,’ a strategic blueprint that seeks to make China a global leader in high-tech manufacturing industries currently dominated by the United States and other developed economies. American opposition to the policy centers on arguments that it poses a national security threat, and would harm U.S. companies and distort global markets with its reliance on government subsidies, discriminatory treatment of foreign investment, forced technology transfers, intellectual property theft, and cyber espionage. Professor Yu Zhou of Vassar College explains why China is pursuing this initiative, its effect on China's technological capabilities, and the potential for cooperation—rather than competition—between the United States and China.

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Peggy Blumenthal on Chinese Students in the United States

As the attendance of Chinese students at U.S. institutions of higher education comes under greater scrutiny, Peggy Blumenthal of the Institute for International Education explains the history of Chinese students in the United States, their impact on American institutions, why they come, and how new visa policies may affect their enrollment.

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