The U.S.-China Insights series features explainers and short interviews with leading experts on timely, relevant issues affecting the U.S.-China relationship and Greater China.

U.S.-China Insights Videos

How China’s Slowing Economy Affects the United States

China’s economy has grown faster than any other over the last 40 years — but there are troubling signs ahead. Houze Song (MacroPolo) explains how slowing economic growth, an aging society, and a looming property crisis have implications not just for China, but for the United States and beyond.

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How Powerful is Xi Jinping?

Xi Jinping is China’s political leader, but what does that mean in practice? Yuhua Wang, professor of government at Harvard University, analyzes Xi’s status in the Chinese political system and how much influence he has.

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Is China a Communist Country?

Meg Rithmire of the Harvard Business School gives an updated summary of China’s unique political and economic system, describing its changing relationship towards Chinese businesses, citizens, and even the United States.

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Japan’s Foreign Relations: Balancing the United States and China

In recent years Japan has found itself increasingly at a crossroads between the United States and China. U.S. Editor and Chief Desk Editor of Nikkei Asia, Ken Moriyasu, examines the geopolitics, trade, and history that play a role in shaping Japan’s ties with both major powers.

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China’s Science-Fiction Universe

In China, industry and political leaders are capitalizing on sci-fi’s unique ability to inspire the public and project a vision of the future that features China as a global innovation leader. Experts Aynne Kokas, Jing Tsu, and Yilin Wang explore how this genre reflects China’s present and shapes its future.

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Deborah Seligsohn on the Geopolitics of Climate

The United States and China have pledged to work together to fight climate change. But is cooperation enough to stop global temperatures from rising? Climate policy expert Deborah Seligsohn (Villanova University) explains how competition between the two countries can be leveraged as a positive force to deliver the best environmental outcomes.

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Russell Jeung on Confronting Anti-Asian Racism

Stop AAPI Hate Co-Founder Russell Jeung addresses the alarming reports of violence and crimes committed against Asian Americans over the past year. He examines the racist beliefs that often motivate perpetrators, discusses the influence of social media, and offers a hopeful look at how Asian American communities are standing up to injustice.

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Margaret Lewis on Taiwan’s Outlook for 2021

A successful pandemic response helped reshape Taiwan’s image in 2020. Could a new U.S. administration further change its prospects in 2021? Margaret Lewis explores the new year’s possibilities for U.S.-Taiwan relations, as well as the key issues facing the Taiwan government’s domestic and global standing.

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The ‘Model Minority’ Myth

Asian Americans are often stereotyped as a “model minority.” UC Boulder Professor of Ethnic Studies Jennifer Ho and Queens College President Frank H. Wu measure this stereotype and its damaging repercussions against a history of Asian American activism and solidarity among minority groups.

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Burning the Boats: Consulate Closures in Houston and Chengdu

On July 23, 2020, the United States government ordered the Chinese consulate in Houston to close. Less than a week later, the American consulate in Chengdu was vacated as reciprocation from Beijing. Harvard University Department of Government Ph.D. candidate and former U.S. diplomat Naima Green-Riley analyzes the motivations behind each government’s drastic step and evaluates the possible implications.

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Visa Restrictions and Lawsuits: Chinese Students Under Fire

In light of the Justice Department’s more than 3,000 active investigations of China-affiliated researchers and students in the United States, Queens College President Frank H. Wu discusses the China initiative, the resulting increase in scrutiny of Chinese nationals and Chinese-American students, and the potential threat these developments present.

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Margaret Lewis on Tsai Ing-wen and the Future of Taiwan

President Tsai Ing-wen was re-elected in January, 2020, yet new cross-Strait developments and changing challenges at home suggest the next four years may not be a continuation of the status quo. Seton Hall University law professor Margaret Lewis explores the possibilities for mainland-Taiwan relations as well as the local issues that will define both Tsai’s second term and the near future of Taiwan.

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Matt Sheehan on the Transpacific Tech Sector: Collaboration and Competition

The United States and China have historically maintained an organic relationship of exchange in the tech world. At the same time, individual companies have competed for dominance in each other’s and global markets. Matt Sheehan explains the collaborative and competitive nature of the U.S.-China tech relationship, and how it will be affected by attempts to ‘securitize’ and even decouple the tech sector.

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Five Economists Explain: Impacts of the U.S.-China Trade War

Leading American and Chinese economists answer one question: name one way the U.S.-China trade war has affected the American economy and global trade over the past two years. Despite the signing of a phase-one deal on January 15, until all tariffs are lifted many of these adverse impacts will continue.

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Lucas Sin on Chinese Cuisine in the United States

What can food teach us about history, immigration, and international relations? For Lucas Sin, chef and culinary director of Junzi Kitchen, food is a window into a larger world, one where Chinese and American culture and history collide, mix, and transform. Chef Sin discusses the evolving landscape of Chinese cuisine in the United States, and its ability to change perspectives by sparking connections between people.

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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. 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

As the standoff between the United States and China continues, disagreements over what constitutes mutually acceptable trade practices are becoming more entrenched. Amy Celico of Albright Stonebridge Group discusses 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. Jay Gilliam, who participated in the National Committee’s Professional Fellows Program in 2018, explains how healthcare and LGBTQ issues intersect, and the 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. Dr. Evan S. Medeiros of Georgetown University explains the ‘securitization’ of the U.S.-China 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 percent. 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. Today, there is growing consensus that the United States is entering into a new kind of cold war with another communist superpower: China. Dr. Oriana Skylar Mastro of Georgetown University explains why U.S. relations with China differ from those with the former Soviet Union.

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Shen Danxi: Comparing Chinese and American Philanthropy

As China’s economy continues to develop, 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. 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 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.

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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. 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

Kelly Sims Gallagher, professor of energy and environmental policy at Tufts University, 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 AI in the United States and China

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. He discusses the future of AI in both the United States and China.

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Yu Zhou on “Made in China 2025”

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. 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 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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