us-china relations

China will position itself as free trade's new champion at an Asia-Pacific summit this weekend, with the Communist government seeking to project economic leadership as a U.S.-led Pacific Rim trade pact languishes under President-elect Donald Trump.

Americans and Chinese make friends with one another easily, and any program that brings them together is to be encouraged; there is no substitute for face-to-face conversations, which can so effectively break down stereotyping and facilitate deeper understandings. [...] I would like to see the U.S. and China jointly develop programs that use the media – both traditional and social – to enable people-to-people diplomacy to reach broader audiences. 

Public opinion matters more than ever, even in authoritarian states. Prosperity, better education, urbanization, mass communication, and social media increase awareness of how government actions can affect the interests of groups and individuals, even beyond the domestic arena. 

To date, the most effective counterbalance or check to Beijing’s campaign of tailored coercion in the East China and South China seas is the U.S. “rebalance to Asia” — an amalgamation of integrated soft and hard deterrent powers (multilateral diplomacy, economic integration and military presence) to reassure allies and partners; demonstrate resolve and commitment; and enhance force posture, capabilities, and readiness.

A majority of Americans and Chinese agree that: China will have leading influence in the Asia-Pacific region 20 years from now; China will have the most influence over the global economy in the next 20 years; and the US will remain the world's leading superpower during the next 20 years.

China's self-image and Americans' perception of China are two critical issues for China. The former is mostly a reflection of the Chinese history, culture and people. Recently, China has been somewhat overconfident, most likely because of its economic growth. But scholars point out that China still has a long way to go in realizing its social development goals.