The past four years have seen a tumultuous time in US-China bilateral relations which will take years to rebuild. The closure of the Chinese Consulate in Houston, followed by the subsequent closure of the US consulate in Chengdu, the ending of the Fulbright and Peace Corp programs in China, hallmarks of decades of public-private partnerships, relationships, and history, ended abruptly. Moreover, we can equate the past two decades of geo-political rivalry between Beijing and Washington as the US playing defense and China playing more offence. The incoming Biden administration will inherit a foreign policy and diplomatic strategy that is on life support and core allies questioning America’s commitment and resolve to the region.
To fully address these challenges and regain credibility both at home and in abroad, the incoming administration will need to recalibrate a new set of values, objectives, and thinking in redefining the most important bilateral relationship in the world. In order to do this, the US must first get its own house in order. If the US government strategically develops partnerships with the private sector to enhance FDI in critical high tech sectors and train and retrain the workforce effectively, this will create an effective ecosystem which the United States will see advanced innovation, continue to employ millions of highly skilled and educated workers, and further the competitiveness of its high-tech sector to not just confront China, but to more effectively compete with China. America needs to define a winning strategy, which at its core begins at home. In addition, priority must be placed on rebuilding political capital between Washington and Beijing and deescalating the current adversarial tone. Having a clear policy on Chinese companies listing in the US can help to rebuild trust between US and Chinese investors as well set clearer expectations on regulatory guidelines. Rebuilding relations with US allies in the region will help to coordinate and present real alternatives to China’s Belt & Road Initiative, RCEP (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership), & The China-EU Investment Treaty. Currently, both RCEP and the China-EU Investment Treaty exclude the US. This will entail the US re-envisioning US policy on Chinese economic engagement with Latin America all against the backdrop of a global pandemic and the huge economic destruction it has caused. How the US and China deal with oil and natural gas will have critical implications for The mainland’s rapacious energy needs well into the next decade. This will also impact how the US reengages with the Middle East on strategic energy and security related interests. Having a nuanced and consistent policy approach on Human Rights is vital to the US regaining credibility both at home and in the abroad. Last, identifying common fundamental interests on issues like climate change, transnational crime, etc will establish the foundation by which to engage on more difficult issues like national security, IPR, and trade. More importantly, identifying a set of mutual shared core interests will help to guide and prioritize US foreign policy decision making. Utilizing a variety of both first and second-hand quantitative & interactive data, charts, as well as geo-political analysis we aim to provide a comprehensive and nuanced monograph highlighting the central themes and issues that will define US-China relations both now and well into the future decade and which seeks to inform policy-makers, academics, and key stakeholders.
Earl Carr, has drawn upon the expertise and experiences of scholars, Chief Economists and other outside experts to compile a monograph geared toward providing policy recommendations for the next administration. Edited by Earl Carr, Yaser Faheed, and Jeeho Bae, the monograph provides pragmatic proposals for how the United States should develop US foreign policy toward China to more effectively compete, respond, and responsibly engage with current realities that best safeguards and promotes America’s values, security, prosperity, and interests.