Are the US and China Decoupling? What are the Consequences for the Global Order?

Are the US and China Decoupling? What are the Consequences for the Global Order?


– Good afternoon. My names is Charles Chase. I’m from the Tuck School
of Business at Dartmouth, and it’s my privilege
and pleasure to welcome this afternoon Orville
Schell from The Asia Society. He will be addressing us on the topic of Are the US and China Decoupling: What Are the Consequences
for the Global Order, which is a very interesting
and timely question. I think you’ll agree with me. Orville has come up
today from New York City. He’ll be staying overnight, and then tomorrow, he’ll be
with us at the business school, and we’re extremely
grateful for his visit. As he said to me this afternoon, there’s no easy way of getting
to Dartmouth, and he’s right. (audience laughs) I’m just going to say a few
words about Orville Schell. I’m sure that many of you
are familiar with him. He’s had a very distinguished career and brings with him a very weighty CV. He is currently the Arthur Ross Director of the Center on US-China Relations at The Asia Society in New York. He is a former professor and dean at the University of California, Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University
in Far Eastern History, was a student of the famous John Fairbank, was an exchange student at
Taiwan University in the 1960s and earned a PhD in Chinese History at the University of California, Berkeley, worked for the Ford
Foundation in Indonesia, covered the war in
Indochina as a journalist, and has traveled widely in
China since the mid-1970s, a fellow at the Weatherhead
East Asian Institute at Columbia University, senior fellow at the Annenberg
School of Communications at University of South California, and a member of the Council
on Foreign Relations. There’s a whole other list of stuff, but I’m going to stop there,
Orville, and welcome you. Welcome to Dartmouth, and we look forward very
much to your comments. (audience applauds) – Well, thanks, Giles. It’s really nice to be here. I think we’d all agree that
we are, in many regards, as a nation, at a lot of
different inflection points, and one of the biggest ones that I think will have
most global consequences is of course what’s going on with China. If I was to try to describe
this moment in history very succinctly, I’d say this: that the challenge is,
are we going to continue to come together as the
policy of engagement, which really started in
1972 when President Nixon and Henry Kissinger went to
China and has continued on through seven different
presidential administrations. Is that going to be the operating system between the two most
prosperous and dynamic economic countries in the
world, the US and China, or are we at a dividing line, when, because of the ways in
which things have changed, both here and there, that
we’re going to get divorced, and we’re going to begin a very painful process of
disentangling ourselves? And if that’s the case, what does it mean? What does it mean for our economies? What does it mean for our foreign policy? And equally as important, I think, what does it mean for the global order, which presupposed that
these two big pieces had a reasonably workable angle
of repose with each other? I think if you want to sort of
visualize this metaphorically as a kind of global arch, the keystones were the US and China. As long as those were in
place, then the rest of it sort of was functional
and structurally sound. If you pull the keystone of any arch out, the arch immediately collapses. And that is, I think, the
precipice on which we now teeter. So, I wanted to just talk
to you a little bit about, how the heck did we get here,
and then ruminate a bit, and afterwards, Jennifer
Lynn and I will talk a little about, maybe, what’s the future? Are there any scenarios
that we can foresee that would get us down
from this mountaintop? So, I’ve had a very interesting
experience this last summer. I was asked by foreign
affairs to write something. They didn’t quite know
what, nor did I know what, on this whole idea of engagement. What’s so interesting about
the idea of engagement is that while it’s in our foreign
policy playbook as an idea, the Chinese don’t really have an equal counterpart term
in the Chinese language. There is a, you can say engagement, (Orville speaks in foreign language) but they don’t use it the way we do as a kind of branded idea. And if you look at the
sort of birth of this idea, and then if you follow it down through the last few decades,
which was the subject that I started to look
into for this article, it is an incredible
odyssey, an incredible story of how did it happen that in 1972, China, which was then in the throes
of the Cultural Revolution, one of the most totalitarian,
violent Marxist-Leninist paroxysm ever to seize any
country in the modern world. How did it come to pass
that the progenitor of liberal democracy
and marketized economies came to some sort of an agreement? How was it that Chairman Mao,
the avatar of world revolution and class struggle,
anti-capitalism, anti-imperialism, anti-colonialism, and I could go on, got together with Nixon,
the great hated Communist, and Henry Kissinger, a
conservative of good standing, to bury the hatchet and create some new glide
path for these two countries? And why is it now that we’re falling out of
enthrallment with each other? Why is the love affair ending? What’s caused it? What’s changed? And what are we going to do about it? All of these questions are
essentially at stake now, and we find the US and
China very, very close to what is essentially
a complete breakdown. In two weeks, or I guess it’s
the beginning of October, we will basically have everything tariffed between the two countries. A once open exchange, relationship,
and trade will basically come to an end under the
Trump administration. And I have to say,
although I’m no Trumpista, not without a certain justification. We want to understand what
that justification is. But let’s just go to the beginning of the story for a moment
and follow it down a little to come to some understanding of, how did we get to this
idea that we could be, if not friends, at least
not enemies with China, these two absolutely different systems who were alienated from
each other for decades, who fought a war in
Korea against each other with tens of thousands of
people dead and wounded. How did we bury the hatchet, and how did it come that
after having done that and found a way to basically
get along with each other well enough, although not perfectly, we come to the impasse we are now at now? What happened? So if we go back to the trip when Kissinger and Nixon
first went to China, and when the whole idea that
we could engage China was born. You have to hand it to this man, who was not known for
his love of communists. This is quite an about face for Nixon. Remember, this is the
man who came into being as being an anti-communist,
a good, stalwart Republican. So how was it that he ended
up in China in the early 70s, toasting Chairman Mao, as if
they were the best of buddies and burying the hatchet essentially, and then launching this
period of presumption that not only we could,
but we should get along, even though we didn’t
agree on almost anything, and what was its evolution since then. So you will remember that
Kissinger went to China, and this was in 1972,
with enormous excitement, decided that it was absolutely essential that the two countries
begin to learn how to find some modus operandi for getting along. This was a great Henry Kissinger conceit, and that it didn’t matter
if they were communist, or what the hell they were. Nobody seemed to care back then. It was just that they had this idea that they could make a
transformative gesture and bring the two countries together. So, Kissinger made this secret
trip, several secret trips, and forged a relationship with Zhou Enlai. Ultimately, President Nixon went, and he was utterly dazzled by
the idea of what he was doing. He was not, I think,
deceived into thinking he could actually change China, but he was convinced that we
had to get along, of course, because both sides saw the
Russians as a bigger threat. So that was the common bond,
an anti-Soviet alliance, because China had fallen out with the Soviet Union in
the late 1950s, 59, 60, 61. The Sino-Soviet rift opened, and so they too were fishing around for a way to neutralize Russia. All right, well, good enough. Good realpolitik. Make an enemy out of your
friend and beat another enemy. At least it keeps you
from the prospect of war in places like the Taiwan Strait. So, out of that moment grew this idea that somehow, we could engage China, and what was the presumption of that? The presumption was, and it
was a very American notion, that slowly, the sort of
elixir of American democracy would be infectious enough. It would slowly change China, not rapidly, into something that was a
little bit more congenial with the world order as we know it. And you’ll remember that in the 1970s, Chairman Mao, the Cultural
Revolution was raging. They were locking up all kinds of people who had western training, western
ideas, western sympathies, and we’d been to war with China in Korea. Many Americans had died. Many more Chinese had died. So this was an incredibly bold move, and yet, it happened. So Nixon went to China with Kissinger, and, to great fanfare, announced that we were going
to go off on this new tack, where we were going to try to get along. Of course, the solvent in the relationship was both sides disliked the Russians. So, both sides had an interest in ganging up on the soviet union, because the Chinese had
fallen out with Russia, having seen Russia as its big brother. The Sino-Soviet rift had started. So, this was a marriage of convenience, make no doubt about it. There was no love of communism. But we decided that it was
necessary for world peace and American interest to get along. Not a bad idea. Not a bad idea at all. And so, this went on,
and counterintuitively, successive American governments bought into the idea of engagement. And we get down to Jimmy Carter, and Jimmy Carter actually
decided he would recognize China. And he did, and you’ll remember, there was this extraordinary trip where Deng Xiaoping arrived
in Washington, 1979. I went on this trip. It was quite an amazing thing, to see Washington completely
turn itself inside-out, embracing this communist leader and just rolling the
red carpet out for Deng. He went down first to
Washington, then to Atlanta. Then we went down to Houston, Texas, and I remember one of the great moments of Sino-US American history
was Deng Xiaoping in Texas. And one of the things he did was, in their inestimable wisdom,
the Carter administration had decided to take him to a rodeo. (audience laughs) So we went out to this rodeo, in a little bend in the road in Texas. It’s called Simonton, Texas, and all of the Chinese
showed up in the bus, and they were all sitting there, and a bunch of cowgirls,
very amply endowed cowgirls on quarter horses road up to Deng Xiaoping and presented him with a
10-gallon hat, and he put it on. It came down over his ears. And then he suddenly appeared a short while later in a stagecoach, riding around the ring
and waving to everybody. Well, this was theater
of a high dimension, and what it basically
said on both sides was, it’s okay not to be enemies. And Deng Xiaoping was quite winsome, and it was an extremely successful trip. And it set us off on a whole new course, that despite the fact that we have absolutely
different political systems, the fact that we’ve been to
war in Korea with each other, that we have had 20 years of estrangement, suddenly, we were best of friends. It was an alchemic sort of reaction that had been brought about by Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger, and it set off a period of
quite extraordinary amity between the two countries. And it changed the relationship, the whole global order, in effect. And after that, you
remember what happened. It wasn’t so long before we
entered the period of the 1980s, which was a period in China
of enormous hopefulness and openness, reform, when
all sorts of things happened that people couldn’t have imagined. Remember, this country was just coming out of
the Cultural Revolution. Anti-western, anti-imperialist,
anti-everything. Anti-Russian. And suddenly, we just turned
this thing upside-down and had this relationship with China. During the 80s, things were
extraordinarily open in China. It was one of the most exciting
periods that I’ve spent in China, and I’ve been
going since the early 1970s. And then what happened? 1989, and I was there
for that whole period. It was a period of enormous
hopefulness and exuberance and you remember what happened. Students began, and the whole Beijing began
filling Tienanmen Square and demonstrating for very
modest demands at first, then for more democracy, more openness. The list grew. And the Chinese government
couldn’t do anything about this, because they had Mikhail
Gorbachev coming in towards the end of May to end the Sino-Soviet dispute and rift, and they knew if they
cracked down before that, they’d have all hell to pay, because already flooding into Beijing were over a thousand
foreign correspondents. And for the first time, they
had direct satellite links set up right from
Tienanmen Square back home. So there was really nothing
they could do for a period of weeks while they waited
for Gorbachev to arrive. Meanwhile, these demonstrations just gathered momentum, gathered momentum, and the party didn’t
know what to do about it. There was really nothing they could do. The moment Gorbachev left, of course, the forces of reaction began to set in, and ultimately, you know what happened, the Beijing Massacre, early in June. And that was a tremendous body
blow to US-China relations. And it almost tipped the whole boat over and made it impossible for
the US and China to continue. But, Deng Xiaoping was a
very, very pragmatic man. Remember, this man is like, four feet, I think he
was nine inches tall? He was not even the party
chief or the premiere. He was a vice premiere, but ruling by the sheer
force of personality. He managed to slowly open the
door again, and ultimately, there was a restoration
of relations with America, despite the shock of
that Beijing Massacre. And it was a startling thing,
that the Chinese leadership had the flexibility, even after
that incredible black eye, to enable US-China
relations to continue on. And so, we had a second chapter. I went on many of these
presidential trips, and it was very interesting to sort of cut into this
story and watch what happened. The next thing of interest that happened was that Bill Clinton went to China. And we’re still repairing
the relationship, but Jiang Zemin, who was the
party chief at that point, who looked a little buffoonish
to many people at the time, was actually a man of some
openness and flexibility. When Bill Clinton went to
China, it was a startling moment when they had a joint press conference. The first thing that Jiang
Zemin did was he said, we’re going to open this press conference to live radio and television coverage, all across China and all around the world. It was an astounding thing. No one had ever done a
thing like that in China, where you just kick out the
jams, and you let it rip. Whatever happens is going to happen. And he and Bill Clinton got going, and it was a sight to behold. Jiang Zemin asked Bill
Clinton, he said, you know, I don’t understand why
is it that you Americans are so in love with the word and expression in Chinese
for Tibetan Buddhism. (Orville speaks in foreign language) And Bill Clinton went
off on a tear on that, and then they got going
on democracy and openness. It an extraordinary discussion, all being broadcast live all across China. You could see that these two leaders actually took pleasure
in each other’s company, and you could see that Jiang Zemin wanted to
act like a normal leader. He didn’t want to be some kind of weird communist-Leninist throwback
like Kim Il-sung or Stalin. He wanted to play with the
big boys in the real arena. He wanted to go mano a
mano with Bill Clinton, which was quite a difficult task, ’cause Clinton was good at it. And so, that whole moment
was a kind of iconic one that bespoke of the willingness
of the two countries, despite our systems, to
want to come together and want to work things out. It gave engagement a new hope, and the presumption was, and
this is really important, when you think about what’s going on now, is that if the two countries
just slowly interacted more closely together with each other, more business, more trade,
more cultural exchanges, we would slowly evolve towards
a more friendly relationship. And in fact, that was a critical thing, because without that notion
that we were slowly coming closer together, you couldn’t
presume that friendship and engagement was a
policy that had any merit. And so, that continued apace. Now, what sadly happened is
that that sort of halcyon period where the two countries
were able to get along and where business was booming
back and forth between them and where students by the
thousands were flooding out of China to this country
and going to universities here, and many students from
America were going to China, that period kept expanding
and lay at the foundation of the ability of the US
and China to get along. It was pretty extraordinary, considering how different
our systems were. But the whole thing was
presupposed on the notion that as long as the countries
were coming together, that it was sustainable,
and it was worth doing. That was the whole notion of engagement. You engage China, you change it. And then we came into
this very different patch, where we had Hu Jintao, who was a Chinese party
general security and president. It was very difficult to tell
what the hell was going on. Were we friends, were we enemy? Was engagement working? What was the general direction of things? And then, we ended up with the
present leader, Xi Jinping, and slowly, it became evident, partially because of the
economic crisis in 2009, that Xi Jinping had a very
different vision of things. It wasn’t that we would get along. It wasn’t that we could work things out. It wasn’t that we were
ultimately on the same wavelength going through history towards
becoming more convergent. Suddenly, the notion became that we were becoming more divergent. And with that, how could you
imagine that the two sides were progressing towards
some closer state? This began to transform one of
the most fundamental aspects of the whole relationship,
and that was business. As long as you can imagine that business was a catalytic agent that was bringing people closer together, then you could say fine, let’s trade. Let’s set up factories
there and joint ventures. Let’s let the Chinese in. Let’s have closer
convergence economically, because that will enhance
the idea of engagement. So, with the present leader, Xi Jinping, we have a kind of strangely
unspoken catalytic change, where one cannot make the presumption that engagement is slowly
going to change China and slowly going to make them more soluble in the Global Compact
of democratic nations, capitalist nations, of the
global community such as it was. Suddenly, China began to
take a very different cast, namely, that it had a way
of its own, and it was a way that depended very much
on a one-party system. Suddenly, all of the affectations
of more democratization, more opening up, more
liberalization, more flexibility, more participation in the
global order, such as it was, began subtly to undergo a
kind of catalytic change. And it became evident that China was edging
towards a model of its own. Call it authoritarian capitalism. China was reluctant to
put an actual name on it, because they didn’t want to
kind of disturb things too much. They just wanted to quietly get there, to a more ascendant position where the Chinese model had more cache. But what happened in the
process was we undermined this very thing that kept
us together with China. And that was a fatal, but
slow, piecemeal turning point that got us to where we are now. And again and again and again,
the forces of engagement, which continued, even under
Obama, were undermined. I remember I went on the trip with Obama, the first trip he made. It was a very strange
trip, to be in China, because he was not received
in a very friendly way. And you had to ask yourself
why, what was happening? Well, what was happening
was the world was turning, and China was saying to itself, although not wanting to
write it too explicitly, we don’t really want to become like you. We don’t want to be engaged in the same way that we were before, where we are on kind
of an evolutionary path towards greater political openness, greater rule of law, all of the things which are the watchwords
of American foreign policy. And it was a very
troubling trip for Obama. He, for instance, there was no live
broadcast of his speeches like there was with Johnson
and in Bill Clinton. He was kind of frozen out. China treated him in a very
sort of perfunctory way, and it was very confusing for the people who had been used to having
a more friendly relationship that seemed to be evolving
things so that the US and China were coming closer and closer together. So, that was a kind of important moment, and then we began to get
a shift in this country, where Washington and President
Obama’s people began to say, well, let’s pivot to Asia. Let’s put more forces in Asia. Let’s beef up our military forces in Asia. This isn’t going like we thought it was. We are no longer
converging; we’re diverging. And you have to ask yourself,
why did China want to do that? Why did China want to throw away something that had decades of history of
bringing us closer together? I think it was because
a certain arrogance, that China never felt
tremendously comfortable having to eat out of the hands
of the western imperialists. It had never gotten rid of
its Chinese Communist Party. The whole structure was still there. Xi Jinping came into office, and Xi Jinping is not a
particularly cosmopolitan man. Jiang Zemin, you remember, he loved to sing Home on the Range. He was a very sort of open, some people thought
slightly buffoonish fellow. He would recite the Gettysburg Address. Frankly, comical, but also, these were manifestations of his eagerness to impress Americans that
he wanted to be friendly. Xi Jinping, none of that. I remember when he came here on a trip. I went on that trip. You know, this man doesn’t
do a lot of smiling. Best he gets is a kind of
a Mona Lisa-like half-grin which doesn’t say too much. And actually, whereas
Jiang Zemin was somebody who wanted to be soluble
in the global world, I don’t get the feeling
that Xi Jinping wants that. I think he has evolved a notion that China now has a way of its own, and what that way does, sadly, though, and I think he recognizes it, but he thinks it’s time
to take the chance, instead of us having slow lines that are out of parallel
but coming together, we have lines that are moving apart, whereas the differences in our
systems mitigate against us breaking down the barriers
between the two countries. And so, we had a kind
of a moment under Obama, when there was a sea change in Washington. Greater skepticism towards the
direction China was going in. And then we got Donald Trump. And deep down in his heart,
it’s very hard to know what is there in Donald Trump’s life, but you can say by looking
at some of the people he’s had around him, like
Steve Bannon and others. Steve Bannon basically believes there’s an absolute contradiction
between us and China, between the capitalist
world and the so-called whatever world it is that’s now China, Leninist, communist, whatever. And he, I think just emotionally,
feels closer to the people who feel America is
threatened, is being opposed, a sort of adversarial
relationship with China. And that is the direction in which we have by and large moved. And I think, in a certain
sense, the tragedy of it is that it was brought about by
a China that didn’t recognize during all of those previous decades what an incomparable opportunity there was to bury the hatchet
with the United States. And the reason why they
couldn’t quite do that was because they never had gotten
rid of the Communist Party, the whole Marxist-Leninist ideology. The whole structure of the
government remained the same, even as the reform
movement of China advanced. And so, we arrived at today, where Trump is blowing hot
and cold, but basically, the people in his
administration I think have lost the ability to see the policy
of engagement as operable. We’re moving in a direction that undermines it at every
quarter, and in a certain sense, I would have to say Trump is at fault now. but it was China that missed the boat again and again and again during the 90s and the early part of this millennium by not understanding that
engagement was a two-way street. And fundamentally, they couldn’t
yield to that recognition, because to do that, they
would have had to change their system, political system. And they talked a lot about
reform, but not anymore. And so, the fundamental
aspect of Xi Jinping and his whole leadership today
is that they’re returning to a much more Marxist-Leninist view, a view that sees America much
more as at best a contender, at worst an enemy, and
that means that engagement is completely undermined,
and that there’s no way to evolutionarily get out of the standoff which Nixon and Kissinger
began to try to dissolve. And that’s where we are now. We’re at a place where Xi
Jinping has essentially declared, in subtle ways, that China’s
system is China’s system. It isn’t going to change. It doesn’t want to change. It doesn’t believe in
democratic governance. It wants to be a leader. It’s not going to trim its jib to fit into the global
order as it existed. It’s going to change the global order. That’s what the Belt and Road is about. That’s what all of China’s
military expansion is about. So we are off in a completely different sort of planetary
universe, where engagement, which was the watchword
of all those years, of six, seven presidential
administrations, has really come to a screeching halt with Xi Jinping and now, Donald Trump. And the question is, where
do you take it from here? These are the two most important
countries in the world. If you don’t believe there’s
some strategy of convergence, but you believe that we are increasingly in a hostile relationship,
which we evidently are, and we’re pulling apart. Look at Hong Kong. What do you do? Are we destined to then grow
farther and farther apart until something blows up in Taiwan, until something happens
in the Senkaku Islands, which are in contention,
or in the South China Sea, which, this a giant
cow-udder shaped protuberance that hangs down from China to Indonesia that China has completely
claimed as its own, and the Seventh Fleet
continues to sail through it, and not recognizing
China’s territorial claims? Where does all this end up? We just don’t know. And so, we’re at this
incredible tipping point moment, where not only are our
diplomatic relations threatened, but our business relations are threatened, where the logic of Trump’s
new wariness suggests that it would be foolish for
companies to go into China, and it would be foolish for
Chinese companies to invest in America, and investment just plummeted. So the relationship is at an extraordinary
tipping point moment, where no one quite knows
what to do about it. And it’s at that moment,
because instead of being able to imagine convergence,
all we see is divergence, and we don’t know how to get ourselves back to an area where our interests seem to be more convergent than divergent. And that’s the dilemma that
we now find ourselves facing, and it’s one that I think
Donald Trump hasn’t any idea how to get out of, because
that’s not the way he works. He just punches, punch for punch. And I think that the leadership
of China now, Xi Jinping, is actually a man of some insecurity, and many things in China
I think make him feel very uncertain about the
future, and he’s very loathe to do anything that would
make himself look weak, much less to slavishly yield to the sort of forces
of American imperialism. So we’re in a place where
both sides are militant, both sides are unyielding, and we’re pulling farther
and farther apart. There are more and more
disagreements arising. Businesses are beginning to pull back. Many foreign businesses
are moving overseas, and the whole question of
China’s economic miracle then hangs in the balance. And the question that we
have to ask ourselves is, is the whole notion of
engagement still viable? Is there a way to get back to it? Is it a good idea, or are our two systems so implacably opposed to each other that’s it’s better just to
go at it hammer and tongs? And then what happens when
something blows up in Taiwan? What happens when, in the South China Sea, there’s a dust up
between the Seventh Fleet and China’s military bases
on the islands it’s built? What happens when Japan runs
into trouble with China? We don’t have answers to these questions. So we’re at an incredible
inflection point, where there is literally no policy, and we’re fighting about trade. Understandable, understandable. It hasn’t been a very level playing field, and the Chinese did not level it. They would not level it. And now Trump, with some justification, I have to say, is calling ’em out on it. And now, the trouble is
the way Xi Jinping works and his fear of looking
like he’s yielding. It’s very hard to correct the course. So, this is simply to say,
we are at an inflection point where we don’t have any policy. Our policy is to push back and hope that China will
somehow come to yield, but in ways that we have
very poorly defined for it. There’s no high level leadership talks. I mean, the people are
talking at the treasury level, and there are some discussions going on, but nothing that will solve
the fundamental question. In the meanwhile, bigger
questions keep piling up, and we don’t have an answer for them. And the understanding that
began, it was a chance, but I think it was a chance worth taking, that Nixon and Kissinger
precipitated in the early 70s, has come a cropper. And if I had to say who was
responsible, I’d say this: China got in the habit of
sort of putting off changes that would have kept the
relationship with America healthy. Wouldn’t let us invest in
all kinds of different areas. You can’t get any American media in China. ‘Til recently, there were many areas that were just off-limits to investment, media, certain kinds of
communications companies. Many, many, many
companies were walled off, so the process of integration
couldn’t go forward. On the other hand, China could invest anywhere they wanted in the United States, and it was going along quite well. Now it’s just plummeted. So here we have the two most important
countries in the world, China arming militarily, claiming
the whole South China Sea, and wanting a bigger
footprint throughout Asia. We have engagement with a
stake through its heart. We don’t have a new policy,
and we have a president basically bereft of his
senses, but not completely. He has kind of a funny, canny thug ability to analyze his enemy,
but what’s the policy? Does China have any ability
to lead, or is it too weak? Does it feel too threatened
by forces we can hardly see, that only Xi Jinping is aware of? We don’t know. So here are the two most
important countries in the world, the biggest and most important economies, that were getting along okay,
that completely blew it. They didn’t maintain
their engaged relationship in a way that was equitable, and it’s too late now to
make superficial fixes. So, we are left with a situation where we’re falling
increasingly out of balance with a leadership that’s
increasingly out of balance itself, and not capable of doing,
and I’m no Republican, what Nixon and Kissinger did, which is changing the terms of the game, so that at least we wouldn’t go to war. And now the tensions are
rising in myriad areas throughout Asia, and nobody
has an answer for it. So, I don’t want to be too
dark and too gloomy here, but I do want to say that this
was a surprising final act for a policy that I think
was done in good faith, and for a while, seemed to be working out, and then I think you can almost look at China’s response to the United States. Never mind the President
of the United States’s response to China, which
is more like a comedy. But I think the Chinese response to the United States was a
tragedy, overweening arrogance, tragic flaw, reaching too far,
not giving what was required to keep a stable relationship going, and it did this because
it finally couldn’t stand the thought that the
Chinese Communist Party might get evolved out of power. And that’s Xi Jinping’s tragic flaw. He’s a man of limited ability to see beyond where China might
go by slow evolution, and he recognized that
to continue engagement would be, the requisite
condition was that China evolved. And so, with a stake
through the heart of that, it’s hard to know where it will go. So anyway, I don’t want to
ramble on too long here, but I do just simply want to say that we are at a tipping
point moment here, and there is no obvious Course B. We lack the fundamental tools
now for the two countries to actually talk in a way that could change the terms of the game. We’re in a very retaliatory mode. Look at Hong Kong. I mean, that is an amazing story. This city, which I know well, I first went there in 1961,
it was the poster child for people who did not
care about politics. All they wanted to do was make money. The fact that the Chinese
Communist Party has turned Hong Kong into the poster child
of political consciousness and remonstration is one
of the most staggering accomplishments in this century. They’ve turned them into our adversary, so you get two million
people, that’s a third of the population of
Hong Kong, in the street. What’s the advantage of that? Very dangerous, because it, at some point, will require a response from Beijing, because Beijing does not, as
we say on June fourth, 1989, Beijing does not smile calmly at people who remonstrate with it and
stick fingers in its eyes. So the place is filled
with tinder ready to burn. And then you look at Taiwan. Taiwan once was trying to
make peace with the mainland. Not now. Completely alienated. So this is a very dangerous situation, and there’s no remedy. It doesn’t even have the United States acting like an intelligent,
temperate adult. So who’s going to step
in, who’s going to fix it? No one has a ghost of an idea. And in the meanwhile, the
world economy teeters, because these are the two biggest players in the world economy. And if that goes to blazes, the whole world goes to
blazes, economically speaking. So there’s a lot at stake here, and one can apportion blame on each side. We may have different equations for that, but suffice it to say, it’s broken, and how to fix it, nobody
has a ghost of an idea. And the broken nature of
the relationship gets back to different politics,
different political systems, different values, different
ways of being in the world. As long as we could
imagine China was reforming and becoming more like us,
well, call us arrogant, okay. As long as you could
imagine that, it worked. But when you’ve lost the capacity to imagine China as in a state
of not just economic reform, but political reform, and that the world was becoming more convergent
rather than less convergent, then you lose the whole logic
for the policy that Nixon and Kissinger started in the
early 70s of getting together. And that’s where we are today, with a president who is so unpredictable. Not always totally wrong. He has kind of a funny nose
for when he’s being taken, when things aren’t equitable,
and when he looks weak, but he isn’t very good
at proposing alternatives or building other structures to contain this most essential of bilateral relationships
in the world today. So, I’m tremendously
sorry if I brought a cloud over your otherwise sunny day
here, but this is a matter of no small importance,
because these are the two most important countries in the world, and China is one of the most dynamic. What I mean by that, both good and bad. There’s a lot going on
there, a lot of energy, a lot of creativity, and it
also has a government system that is absolutely antithetical
to those things which at least we thought we stood
for before Donald Trump, but still lurk in the
background of who we are. And the only two countries
that matter in the world today really are China and the US. So what happens here is of
incalculable importance. Nobody else can fix this,
and the lack of leadership on both sides is pretty astounding. There’s no initiatives to fix
this besides raising tariffs, and in two weeks, three weeks time, all of Chinese products in
America will be tariffed, and China will retaliate. Okay, good, see how we like that. So, thank you for
sharing my gloom with me. I’m afraid it’s a pretty
pessimistic scenario that lies ahead, and I don’t
see a lot of leadership on either side capable of
doing the kinds of things which actually, and
I’m, generally speaking, not a Republican, but that
Kissinger and Nixon did. They changed the terms of the game. So, I’ve leave it there. (audience applauds) – Professor Lynch from the college. – Great. Okay, thank you so much. – Great, no, thank you. – Good afternoon, everyone,
and thank you for coming. On this amazing, beautiful autumn day, I know it’s hard to descend into the basement to
go hear gloomy thoughts about the future of US-China relations, but I’m very glad you did. This is a wonderful turnout. I have what appears to be 97
questions for Orville Schell, (all laughing) and I’m only supposed to
ask a couple of questions. – Is it multiple choice? (all laughing) – And then I’m supposed to be
turning it over to you guys. So I’m sure Tom or Giles
or someone will restrain me if I am abusing my power. I guess I’d like to start
off with this notion of the strategy of engagement. So, you talked about in recent years, the Trump administration
failing to see that engagement was a possible strategy
that the US could continue. And so, my question is, would any other administration
have concluded differently? Because it’s not really,
you can’t describe the US-China relationship
of one of engagement when you have one side is a liberal and the other side is
a mercantilist, right? That’s just not an engagement,
a liberal engaging strategy. So eventually, and I think you
summed this up really well, how eventually that was
going to come to a head and create the kind of
tensions that it did. But would any other
administration have concluded, we can keep going on with this. We can keep having our
intellectual property stolen. We can keep sustaining
these trade deficits. This is okay. The American workers are doing fine. Do you share the diagnosis that
something needed to be done, or is the idea that something
might have needed to be done, but it should have been something else, other than what the administration did? – Well, I certainly
don’t want to subscribe to the full menu of the
Trump administration. – [Lynch] Well, I’m not
asking you to do that. (Professor Lynch laughs) – But I think that’s not the answer. On the other hand, there was a problem. And I think I supported
engagement, and I still kind of do, but these things are two-way streets. You can’t have one side being unyielding and the other side waiting,
waiting, giving, giving. And I think it became
evident after a while that China had a pretty good
thing going, and that actually, they weren’t going to yield
beyond a certain point; in fact, they started rolling things back; and that the problem was the political systems were too different. And you can only go so far if you have a totalitarian system on
one side, one-party system, and a rather messy democracy on the other. So I think that’s the great tragedy. It was worth a try, it really was, because what’s the alternative? And I actually think the United States tried very hard to make it work. I’ll tell you one little anecdote. I periodically talk to
people in the government, and I had worked with Hillary Clinton, and then she became Secretary of State, and I helped her out on various things. And I remember one day, I
was driving up to see my boys in Middlebury, and the far
phone rang, and it was her. And she said, basically,
what the hell do they want? She said, we try, we try, we
try, we try to find some way to make it a mutual concession, let’s keep the thing together, and I can’t get any traction. And I did not know how to answer her. What that suggested to me
was a profound willingness on the American side
to work something out, despite the different values and different political systems. It’s very hard to know
how to respond to that. But the Chinese finally
were incapable of giving as much as they got, and the
thing got out of balance, and then you’ve got a guy
like Trump who comes in, and it’s not that he’s wrong about that the relationship isn’t working. It’s what he does about it
that’s sometimes really crazy. But believe me, Obama tried. Hillary tried, and she failed. So, there it is. – So on the issue of what
the Trump administration, the strategy that the Trump administration is trying to use here, so, you were saying in your comments, we
don’t have a strategy. But I guess I’d push you on that. I think we have a policy,
we have a strategy. You could say it’s not a good one, (Lynch laughs)
but I think it’s there, which is different. – [Orville] Describe it. What do you think our strategy is now? – So, the way that I would see it, well, I wouldn’t call it a China strategy, but in terms of the idea, the thoughts behind the current tariffs, so, there, I would say
that the first thing is, how do we reduce the trade deficit? So this is what tariffs do. I see Doug Irwin shuddering back there. So you put tariffs on goods,
and the cost of them goes up, and so, demand for them falls. So, we’re going to buy
fewer Chinese goods. And some economists, although Doug would be able
to tell us more about this, some economists say when the
trade deficit is reduced, that’s going to create
more jobs in the US, ’cause there’s goods
being produced in the US. Now, other economists
would say, no, no, no, there’s all sorts of noise in there, and that’s not necessarily
going to translate and so on. But anyway, that’s the
theory, that’s the argument. So the trade deficit’s going to shrink. And then there’s a coercive
element too, right? There’s a coercive element, which is, stop stealing American
intellectual property, stop discriminating and
punishing American firms, open up your market, or we will continue to punish you with these
very costly tariffs, which we feel are more
costly to you than to us. So we could poke all sorts
of holes in any of that. I’m sure Doug could, and you could, and we
could if we sat here. But it sounds like a plan, right? It does actually sound like a strategy. We might not like it,
but isn’t that a plan? Isn’t that a strategy? Or tell us if it’s not, and what should we be
doing other than that? – Well, these signaling mechanisms require both sides to be
listening and responding, right? And I think China got in the
habit of not really listening when Americans would say the
playing field’s out of level, and then we arrived with
Trump, who said, just screw it. I’m going to blow the whole
thing up if I have to. So I think that actually,
China made a fatal mistake in not recognizing that
you can’t just wall off whole areas of your
economy and expect people to feel good while they
open theirs to you. That’s not the way the world works in which China sought to be engaged. So, I think the United States tried, in its sort of half-hearted way. Obama tried, but it didn’t work. And maybe it’s the nature
of these very different political systems which mitigate
against that kind of equity and that kind of working things out, because China’s actually an
incredibly paranoid place. You know this. They just think everything,
everybody’s out to get them, because they recognize their system is somehow insoluble in this other world of western democratic
capitalist sort of global trade. So, there’s a contradiction
there which finally, I think, we couldn’t dissolve,
and that’s where we are. And it could bring the
whole world economy down, because think about it. The US and China are the two
biggest players in the world, and if they really get
going at each other, and we’re off to the races. You know, the amount of
FDI from China in America and American FDI in China’s really shrunk. We are in a period of gross contraction. And you have to ask
yourself, can we get along in that world, and more
importantly, can China, which is more dependent
on exports than we are. – Right, and let me ask you about that, because the future stability
of US-China relations in great part hinges on just
how powerful China becomes, and then, of course, what
ambitions China adopts. But in terms of these
debates going on right now about the future of the Chinese economy and the future of Chinese power, are you more bullish or more bearish here? Do you see that China has achieved a lot and is likely going to
keep moving forward? There’s all these different
forecasts about when China’s GDP is going to surpass that
of the United States. So, this could be sooner, this could be later,
or this could be never. China obviously, to get there, has to make a lot of
changes to its economy, and the question is, is it
going to be able to do that? So I’m wondering where
you are in that debate. I don’t know if it’s
optimism or pessimism, right? Depends on how you view those things. But do you think China’s going to be able to
accomplish this transition? – I view us as being in the
audience in the Greek tragedy, where China’s overweening
ambition and lack of insight of what it takes to actually
work in a global situation could bring it down. It could bring down the
whole world economy. This isn’t to say the
United States is perfect, but I do think that some of the demands, that some of the presumptions,
you have a choice. You either get with the
program and make it work out, or you go back to autarchy. And that’s where we’re headed now. – Well, we don’t have to close
the whole US economy, right? We have other trading partners. – Oh, we do, yes. But the US and China are so important. They sit so much at the center of this, the epicenter of the whole global economy, that there’s no way. It’s like when you have a heart attack. There’s no way, if you have
one big clogged artery, the others can take up
the big compensatory load. So, I really worry, and I
think this is where, sadly, you see, when you lose
the elixir of reform, you lose the promise
that the system in China will become more flexible,
pliable, and changeable. And then you’re stuck. That means the two worlds are insoluble. And I think that’s where we’re heading, and I don’t know what the answer is. I think, in a certain sense,
I think Trump is right, but he’s so inept, you know? I think he has a kind
of funny animal instinct for when he’s being
taken, which is every day. So he has a really good nose
for what China’s been doing, which is not tenable, not viable, not workable, not long-term,
and not equitable. – So the question is
where do we go from here? And we might get a
different administration, we might get this administration. We could daydream about a
progressive democrat being elected and the kind of policy that
they would enact towards China. So I find it hard to imagine
somebody who’s deeply concerned for the plight of the American worker and really committed, actually committed, actually has a career
showing commitment to that, that that person would
come in and say, oh, yeah, let’s just go back to the
way it was before with China. – Well, it wasn’t so great
before, but it was viable, and it was heading basically
in the same direction, in the right direction, for a while, haltingly and with major
lurches and problems. I mean, I think actually,
if I look at this thing, this is where you get down to the notion of different political systems. There is a fundamental contradiction between different kinds
of political systems, and that radiates out into
economies and into trade regimes. And I’m afraid we’ve come
a cropper with China. We got in bed with China,
we hoped it would work out, we hoped they would
slowly evolve and change, and we hoped that, if you
were just a little indulgent, a little tolerant, a little
patient, it would be okay. But then we got Xi Jinping,
and he is in retrograde mode. He is not continuing the
tradition of Jiang Zemin. Let’s work it out. Sure, broadcast it on the radio, and a big hug to Bill Clinton. No, he’s incredibly aloof. You see him. It’s very hard to read this guy. He’s like the Mona Lisa. His smile is just faintly there,
and he doesn’t demonstrate. He doesn’t let on what’s really going on. I think he’s fundamentally probably an extremely insecure person. You have to remember, this guy
speaks no foreign languages, never been abroad, really,
and he grew up in this system that is pretty hermetically
sealed at the time, spent years off rusticating
in Shanxi province, in some little town, and I
think he’s got big issues on dignity, on pride, on seeming
to be weak, and God knows China has more problems than
we can see from the surface. So, I think he’s very constrained, and Trump, we all know, is like an animal. I mean, he’s very
limited in his bandwidth. But like an animal, he smells things out. He can be smart like a
fox, but not so great in figuring out how to
remedy the dangers he senses. – Yeah, again, I think it’s
a widely shared diagnosis that the relationship
couldn’t go forward, right? This is not Trump’s animal
instincts or something. This is something that was widely shared. I don’t know if some of you
dwell on that alternative planet where Hillary Clinton
was elected president, but even on that alternative planet. – They hated Hillary. – She was moving, yeah, I know
they did, I know they did. She was moving toward having
to get tougher on China, because it was growing
more assertive militarily in different areas in Asia, and also because of the trade issues. So again, there were trendlines
here that were very powerful that I think need to be remembered too. I would also say that, I don’t know, my students and I talk about
the realist foreign policy, the international relations
theory of the realists and this idea of what
do great powers want? Well, they want to control the
regions in which they live. And the realists have been telling us this ’til they’re blue in the
face for the past 30 years, and there’s a whole other
paradigm about liberal engagement that says no, no, we can change
them, we can change them. I think you pointed out really accurately, this is a very American thing. Americans love that idea, right? John Mearsheimer, who’s
one of the most erudite and articulate realists, said,
“Americans hate realism.” And this is very much
at the center of this. So, I don’t know if we should forever retire
the engagement strategy. Maybe there’s other cases and
places in which it might work, but yeah, I think we can count this one as not ideal in its results. – I think we need a post-engagement
engagement strategy. In other words, we need to regroup. – [Lynch] Is that just
an engagement strategy? – No, it’s to say the
house has fallen down. How do we reconnect? And I’m not sure China’s
capable of doing this now. That’s the problem. I’m not sure Trump is
either, for that matter. So, we’re in a really
compromised situation where there’s no leadership on either side that’s really able, I think,
to look at this in a way that it would have to be looked at. – I’m going to reign myself in
and start calling on some people before I move through
questions 48, 49, 50. (Orville laughs) We’re going to privilege the students, because we want to thank them
for coming out here today. So students, show your hands. Where are you? Yes, Paul. – [Paul] So, thank you
for coming to talk to us. Hi, thank you for coming to talk to us about engagement today. I am very interested in your historical
perspective on the issue. So, you talked about
United States arrogance, how we had a tragic flaw, how
we may have reached too far, and you said without the notion that the US and China
were driven together, we could have never done engagement. But you also said it was worth a try, because what was the other option? So I’m curious about that question. What was the other option? If we had known, if we
had perfect information that we wouldn’t be
drifting closer together, what would we have done? – Well, I think we could have continued our anti-communism and just
said, okay, China’s the enemy. We’re just going to
continue what we were doing in recognizing Taiwan
and shutting them out. And I think actually, it is a good part of American political
thinking to try to imagine how to catalyze a change, and that’s really what happened in China. And I think it succeeded, if you could just mark different leaders who actually played
ball in the change front and kept that hope alive. I think what Xi Jinping has done is not only to put a stake
through the heart of that notion that we were more or less on
some kind of convergent lines that were going to be a long
time in coming together, but that weren’t growing apart. And that’s okay. That’s what he wants, that’s what he got, and now we’re in a hostile,
antagonistic contradiction. We have to regroup, and it means the South China
Sea’s going to heat up. It means the arms war
is going to, you know. It means a lot of things. If that’s what they want, and I think it is what Xi Jinping wanted. Whether he was smart about it
or not is another question, and that’s what he got. – [Lynch] Yeah, go ahead. – Hi. Oh, sure. So, one of my questions is
about your divergence theory. So I’m wondering, now that
China’s economy is slowing down and it needs to be sort of restimulated, in a way, through more foreign
investment, in a sense, also, at the same time, a lot of the Communist Party’s legitimacy as it’s ruling relies
on the economy itself. So, my question is, given the nature of the two current administrations, are there still any opportunities to bring back to the usual
level of economic engagement, just because, in a day,
China’s leader might be feeling that we are being
challenged, our legitimacy is being challenged, because
the economy is going down, and therefore, we need
to get back on track. And the following up question is that, should we give the engagement policy a second chance from the
American perspective? – So my answer to that is
it isn’t up to us alone. Let’s say tomorrow, Xi Jinping
wakes up, goes on television, and says, listen, people,
I’ve been thinking, we’re headed on a collision course. It’s not good for China,
not good for the world. I want to rededicate myself
to the idea in Hong Kong that they will have their
own form of governance until the end of the 50 years. I want to say to Taiwan that right now is not a propitious time
to force reunification. Taiwan’s an inalienable part of China, and in due course, whether
it’s decades from now or not, I don’t know, it will
return to the motherland, but right now is not the time to push it. Xi Jinping said this in 1978 in Tokyo. He said exactly that. He said, it doesn’t matter now. Let’s not push it. Let’s let it lie for another generation. If he could say to the United States, we want to reengage you, we
are dedicated to working out a global compact and play by the rules, we’re willing to open our economy as much as you’ve opened yours, I think he could do this in a heartbeat. But he’s not going to do it. He can’t do it; it’s
not him, and it would be too threatening to everything
he’s done to date, and I think he would view it as a sign
of weakness to give in. So I don’t foresee that happening, and that’s why I think, I think we’re beyond a
course correction here. – [Lynch] All right, other questions? Yeah, go ahead. – Thank you. What are common misconceptions
or things about China that you observe that
Americans or westerners don’t typically understand
about China, its culture, its history, why it
behaves the way it does? – Well, the first thing I should say, I’m married to a Chinese woman, so I’ve got a mainline to at
least some sense of this issue. And I think it’s a very
difficult one to parse through. I think it fundamentally gets back to, and I’ve come to this
conclusion after 30 years of hoping that reform
and opening would work, that finally, different
political systems really matter. It’s very hard for a democratic system, even one as messed up as ours, to converge with an
authoritarian/totalitarian system. And I think the fact that the United States
tried is to its credit, and I’m not always a big
fan of my government. And I think now that the fatal flaw, the tragic flaw of Xi Jinping is one that the Greeks have
written about for years. He had overweening
pride, he moved too soon, he thought that China
could get along alone, didn’t need to fit into
the global compact, didn’t need to make any more concessions. He was big enough and powerful enough to start throwing its weight around more. Now, maybe he’ll win. My reading is it’s going
to be a tough sell, and it could bring a
whole house of cards down. It’s the classic Greek tragic flaw. – [Lynch] Okay, right here. – My question is related to the question this young
gentleman here asked, was the role of commercial
interest in China. I’ve been going to China
since WTO happened, and the private sector’s been
growing, with some pushback. And the question is, at
what point is there room for engagement from the private sector, and will those interests in China maybe push back a little
bit at some point? – The astounding thing for
me is that with the advent of Xi Jinping and his whole regimen, he has really muted the voices of the very significant
corporate interests and private enterprises
that have grown up in Chin, so that those people would
rather just drop out of business like Jack Ma, just leave the scene than have to tangle with this thing, which is an insoluble contradiction, as far as they’re concerned. So, I think it’s going
to be very difficult. These people have fallen
absolutely silent. It’s a little bit like
Republicans in this country. They’re not going to challenge Trump. Well, maybe someday, but not yet. So I don’t see that. I think these guys, and now they’re having
party cells reinstated. They’re being forced to
do all kinds of things they’d rather not do, and I think it’s going
to be very difficult. – Even if there’s a decline in Chinese, like you earlier said, the
Chinese output starts declining, and then again, they start
to suffer a little bit. I think that’s the
premise of Trump perhaps. If they suffer internally, eventually, they’ll come
to the bargaining table. – Yeah, they might, but I think you just never
want to underestimate the terrors and the
vicissitudes of pride in China. It’s very hard, if you force China, force leaders to back down and lose face, they may do it, but boy,
they won’t forget it. And it snaps back at you later. So the challenge is to
figure out how to do this in a way that isn’t humiliating. But given the circumstances,
it’s almost impossible, because the two leaders are so obdurate. I mean, listen, if some guy like Obama, I went on his trip to China,
I mean, he was a gentleman. He was willing to give and get, and the Chinese missed
it, totally missed it. He was the guy who really
wanted to keep engagement alive, and ultimately, he did
change, because he said, screw this, it’s not working, you know? I’m not going to play this anymore. And that to me is Greek tragedy with a Chinese characteristic. Why did the leader throw away
the incomparable advantage they have of the neutralized
America while China rose? Why did they antagonize the one country that they needed to undergo
their full transformation, which was actually incredible. I mean, I have to say, what China’s done is quite astounding, and it’s to be esteemed
and studied and respected. But like great leaders who
conquered the whole Mediterranean but had a tragic flaw and failed, I fear that this will be Chinese’s
fate if it’s not careful. – [Lynch] Okay, yeah, go ahead. – Hello. First of all, I’m kind of an imposter. I’m not a student at Dartmouth, but I just returned from Taiwan, National Taiwan University, where I completed a master’s degree. So I’ve been over there. And my sentiment, I
guess, I don’t know much about the internal workings in China, but it seems that the Chinese public has kind of come to
accept and come to back, it’s a massive country,
obviously, not a monolith, but has come to back the idea
of their political system in opposition to what they see in the west that troubles our underlying
democratic systems. So would you say that, going forward, that the Chinese public,
do you see the opportunity for something that we see in Hong Kong occurring in China in the near future, or is that kind of, that ship has sailed? – Yeah, I really think it’s very unlikely, given the levels of control,
and particularly the way in which China has wired
itself electronically now to be able to maintain
surveillance on everything. I think it’s very unlikely you’re going to get
piecemeal remonstration. If anything some, it’ll
be a huge, big explosion. The whole place’ll just go up. But I don’t think, they’ve
just sort of cut off all the telltale signs of
what’s brewing down there, and I think it hasn’t come to that yet. And that’s why the economic
situation is everything. Without that, I mean,
China’s a tinder box. And Trump, in his smart kind
of way, smells that out, says we’re going to make it hot for you. And I don’t know if it’ll work or not. The trouble with authoritarian regimes is as they get more authoritarian, they lose their flexibility, and they begin to find course corrections become a matter of honor, not to change. They don’t want to look weak. And if there’s anything
that bedevils China, it’s a question of loss of face. And that’s the curse of
many, many leaders in China. – Okay, oh my goodness. We are finishing up here, so why don’t we collect a few questions? Back here, yeah. – Yeah, I’m from Hong Kong,
and at the scenes of protests, we can see Hong Kong people
waving American flags, as if they’re asking for help. So, on the American side, what do you see as the strategic value of Hong Kong in breaking this impasse
you’re describing, especially in the context
of China’s economy slowing down and needing even more foreign direct investment from Hong Kong. – [Lynch] Very nice. Oh, it’s to collect a couple questions. – But you remember these, because
my poor brain won’t, okay? (Professor Lynch laughs) – My question, oof. My question’s just how do
you see the deterioration of Japanese-South Korean relations possibly affecting the
US-China relationship and the relationship
of democratic countries really versus Chinese
influence in East Asia? – Might we answer them quickly, ’cause otherwise, I
swear, I’ll forget them? – Absolutely. Yeah, just these little tiny questions, like what is the interest of
Hong Kong in the future, yeah. Just small little questions. 30 seconds please, no.
(Professor Lynch laughs) – Now, would you repeat the questions? – [Lynch] So there’s Brian’s
question on Hong Kong and basically, the question of what is the interest
in the United States? What interest does the United States have in what transpires there, basically, vis-a-vis its
relationship with China? And then a question about the Japan and
South Korea relationship. – Yeah, I mean, I think, the
United States doesn’t have much of a cause to intrude in
the Hong Kong demonstrations and that whole interaction with China. However, I think it’s astounding, what’s happening on Hong Kong,
and people have taken notice. I mean, it’s a generational
shift of monumental proportions. And I think it’s really got
China’s knickers in a twist. They don’t know what to do about it. So, I think it’s quite a transformation, and I think it’s best that the
United States stay out of it. Your question about,
(Orville laughs) I knew I would not remember the questions. – [Lynch] Yeah, so obviously,
Japan and South Korea are in a major rift right now, and the US, seen as sort of potentially moving toward an anti-China balancing coalition, and hoping that the South
Koreans will play along, hoping that the Japanese
might step it up a little bit, but the South Koreans seeming
to say absolutely not, we’re not going to play
ball with the Japanese. So this is definitely very relevant to US-China relations. – So, I met yesterday with the guy in the Korean Foreign
Ministry who is the China guy. And he was asking the same question. And I think actually, Korea and Japan have some
real differences, it’s true. But I think Korea has an
interesting role it could play if it wanted to, which is to
sort of step sideways and say, we’re not one of the big
powers like Japan and the US, but let’s us call a
meeting together of China, Japan, and Korea, and see
if we can’t figure out some different way of doing this, because I do think there’s
a lot of bitter blood between Korea and Japan. It’s a shame, but that’s the reality, and I don’t think Korea’s going to be capable of jumping over it. So, that means that the alliance, such as it is, is compromised. – [Lynch] Okay. Last couple of questions? Yeah, right here. – Talk about how tenable, oh, sorry. Can you talk about how
tenable the Chinese economy is and the system is in the medium term, just because you mentioned before that a lot of the things that
Xi Jinping has been doing has been a reflection of weakness. And so people see Belt and
Road, they see military buildup with the PLA, they see South China Sea, but I see a lot of economic weakness. I see their debt-driven
economy starting to crumble. So can you talk to that,
because it doesn’t seem to be getting covered in the media about how, I think, in the medium term, I don’t think China will look
how it does today very soon. Can you talk about that? – Yeah, that’s a really
interesting question, and I’m not an economist,
but I have to say that it never makes a lot of
sense to me what they’re doing, and I do think that the
debt-driven economy, they can’t keep going adding
stimulus to the economy and just piling on debt, and
that’s what they’re doing. I think that they’re in
a difficult position. I’ve never understood quite
how the economy has worked. Where does all this money come from? It’s counterintuitive. But if the milk cow of America, which has been buying Chinese
stuff, begins to go dry, I think they’re going
to have a real problem. And that will get their attention, because listen, the one thing
the Chinese Communist Party has by way of legitimacy
is economic growth. They lose that, there’s nothing. – So, I’d like to tell
my students in the room that just because Orville Schell has actually thoroughly
and brilliantly covered everything for the reading for tomorrow, you still have to do it, all right? (audience laughs) – Oh, what are you reading?
(both laughing) – Tomorrow is can China keep growing, basically, so this question. So, everyone, please join me
in thanking Orville Schell. (audience applauds)

100 thoughts on “Are the US and China Decoupling? What are the Consequences for the Global Order?

  1. 42:45 – "… on the other hand, China could invest anywhere they wanted in the United States…" – this couldn't be further from the truth. The sole practical function of CFIUS is to PREVENT the PRC from investing in areas that the US doesn't want China to advance in – semiconductors for example. The trend of US blocking investments from the PRC began as soon as the PRC began to invest in the US in any meaningful volume, starting with the CNOOC's blocked M&A bid for Unocal. Subsequently, CFIUS wouldn't even let Chinese companies (private or public) invest in mundane sectors like rebar factories. I'm surprised Schell would state such a blatant lie, he is too intelligent & knowledgeable to make such a statement out of ignorance.

  2. It was we who see no use for China as a partner any more after China helped America to win the cold war and brought down the Soviet Union.

  3. 1:00:35 – "China is actually an incredibly paranoid place…" lol, this coming from a person whose country wants to ban TikTok – an app where teenagers post short videos… apparently if American teens post their twerking videos on a Chinese app they'll magically turn Communist…

  4. China had a reform on 1978 which is more than just economy, nothing short of a revolution. It was successful and no wonder they are doing so well now.

  5. We Americans seemed to believe the next only step dealing with China is to meddle in their domestic affairs and political policies. We don't seemed to aware that's what we are doing from Chinese perspective.

  6. 1:09:35 – "I don't know whether we should forever retire the engagement strategy…" The only thing Americans need to retire is this notion that everyone else must adopt their economic & political system, or become an enemy of the US. This American ideological fanaticism is the biggest threat to world peace.

  7. To many ignorant Americans, engagement between China and the US entails the idea that China must transform its political system …must become Americanized ..must adopt the messy form of democracy.

    To most Chinese, engagement means China will be open to doing business with the world (and with the US) under the WTO rules.

    WTO rules DO NOT stipulate that China MUST become a democracy. Countries with DIFFERENT political systems (including Russia )… …are WTO members.

    Americans leaders are WRONG if they expect China to become Americanized. China has the sovereign rights …to have its own system of governance. ( a better system which made China

    the second strongest economy in the world.)

    If the US is adamant on decoupling relationships with China…it is the US prerogative. Decoupling may or may not stop the rise of China…but it will definitely destroy the world economy, including the US economy.

    US economic experts warned that a US recession is imminent ( if Trump failed to make a deal with China soon.)

    The speaker demonized Xi and blamed Xi for the actions taken by the US to decouple relationship with China. We know that he was talking nonsense..

  8. It's interesting to see behind most of the pro-China commenters here have near-empty personal profiles. The phoneme itself says a lot about how badly we are infiltrated.

  9. Please hit home about the notion of China surpasses US economically predicted by IMF and other agencies. That is what happened for the divergence when the economy of China was 10% of the US. It was the "convergence" talk… Don't believe it is about idealogical difference, etc.. It is all about who is the No 1 in 20-50 years.

  10. The funny thing is why should China change its political system which works fine for China and is supported by a vast majority of Chinese, just because it displeases the US. China does not ask the US or any other country to change their system. Who is being arrogant here?

  11. A tired old spokes-person for USA's ruling-elite associates the decline of the American Empire with Greek tragedy. A product of Pomfret, Harvard and Berkeley, he is incapable of seeing American "interests" as predatory and fails to respect the rights of China to choose its own structure of governance. His "global democracy" is really American autocracy.

  12. "US and China are the two most important countries in the world." Actually India is quite important. If the US can put a stop to the unfettered unilateral trade relationship favorable only to China, China will fade out as no other country will be willing to allow China such generous trade terms. Surely China saw this coming. We don't need China as bad as China need the US. Trump doesn't have to be very shrewd to figure out that all he needs to do is give the Chinese non negotiable terms.

  13. 27min: The great convergence. Followed by: we were going to Change China and bring them into the fold of democracy…. Such arrogance. A true convergence, both parties change. Insisting that China should be the one changing toward the US system and value is nothing but another form of colonialism. And then he wondered why Xi pulled away??? If these are the type of top intellectual thinking’s USA has, the world, and USA especially, is heading toward a lot of pain.

  14. this professor is an ass hole for knocking president trump, if it wasn't for trump we would still be taken advantage of by the Chinese and everything would stay the same and be taken advantaged of. why doesn't he just go and live in china you trader. that's why our kids are so liberal , they should fire this guy and all the liberal teachers with him. this interviewer to me is a spy for the Chinese, i don't trust her either.

  15. you just said the wrong thing, Hillary Clinton – you definitely are not to be trusted. trump is calling china and everybody else out, he's doing what all the other presidents couldn't do because they had no balls, sometimes you cant be gentle with words you just have to call like it is.

  16. I m detecting a present of many Dimwitted Low Lifer
    Trump Turd Murican Cockroaches in this video.

    ~ ORVILLE SCHELL is such a illogical Dimwitted Low Lifer
    Murican Cockroaches.

    The ( Undisputed Cockroaches Murica ) is declining & shrinking
    even faster when its Think Tanks are occupied by
    these illogical Dimwitted Low Lifer such as
    ORVILLE SCHELL.

    To: ( Murica ( CIA + YouTube + Google ) 5 cents army Cockroaches )

    Let's see … how fast … ( Murica CIA / YouTube and Google Murica )

    are CENSORING … and DELETING all my POLITE comments.

    Where is your MURICA famous * HYPOCRITICAL * FREE SPEECH ??

    #4444 Doomsday Gesture to U Murica * SUPER DUMB LowLifer Murican.

    <<<

  17. The 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre? What Massacre? https://www.globalresearch.ca/the-tiananmen-massacre-what-massacre/5574567

  18. Completely biased statements, culturally, the Chinese will never change, just look at the Chinese in America, and look at the rich family in hongkong. Most of them does not embrace western value, look at Lee ka Sheng, look at other typhoon, they get a few wife, pay them to give birth to a son. Most of them still very much Confucius, which they don’t believe in freedom of speech(but kowtow), they don’t believe in gender equality, all they care is their family’s power and influence in the region and in the clan. As a Chinese expert, you should spent time looking into the Chinese cult and clan like operation system. What a fool!

  19. He may know a lot about China and Asia, but he does not bare the Chinese people mentality. He views things from American eyes.

  20. Nothing is going the right direction between the 2 countries, if US keep using their nonsense democracy and human rights to attack on China.. China need US business but they surely can survive without US. However I'm not sure US could survive without Chinese products because Trump's underwear also made in China..

  21. It seemed like China should challenge US bully all the way no matter the consequences .. Even though Chinese trying to avoid the collision by giving in to the American this time but they will come back and demand for more the next time so no end to it.. There must be a breaking point and it will come sooner or later… Let hope it would not end up in the military conflict but it seems like unavoidable as US keep on playing the dangerous game in South China Sea …

  22. It is said that it was America that funded the students in Tiananmen Square through Hong Kong.

    Nowadays, those students who had once fled to America from Tiananmen Square remain silent about all the riots going on in Hong Kong, because they are mature and rational enough to be able to realize the ulterior motive behind the riots and behind their movement back in Tiananmen square Square 30 years ago.

  23. China did engage but it was America that ruined China's trust in America. American governments, on one hand, borrowed money from China to save America's economy , on the other hand, infiltrated agents and NGOs into China for brainwashing Chinese citizens to rebel against the governments, and Hong King is the latest example.

    Don't criticize Xi Jin ping. He is a good leader in the eyes of Chinese people around the world.

  24. Who wants to change from workable socialistic capitalism with China's characteristic to a failed democracy-worked-out the west still think it works?
    No wonder you have waited for that long for China to change, but who should be changing actually?
    Here you still prefer anti-communism! Is democracy that great? Just see how messy America is? Get over it. Decoupling if you dare, or just start all over again like trade war never started!

  25. Reverse cause and effect here– it is exactly because of the financial crisis caused by Wall street and American's policy of "Pivoit to Asia" that makes China feels the needs to explore alternatives.

    And you feel that Obama was not "treated in a friendly way" because you are getting used to look down and talk to people, when China are trying to talk on a more equal standing.

  26. Lots of pro-PLA shillary going on in here. Give it up now; you will be changing no one's mind (but you'll still get your RMB cookies for your shill post).

  27. I think wealth transfer has happened 😏We are now waiting the full repercussion of it. Some of the fallout is homelessness we seeing and it will continue unless Christ come.

  28. From this old man's speech I can see that he is only capable of seeing things from US perspective, rather than analyze such a complicated topic from both US and China's perspectives. If you can realize that U.S. has been behind almost every conflicts in the world during the past half centry, invading dozens of countries, ruin tens of millions of people's lives in other counties for maintaining US interests, you will understand why China doesn't trust US and the mutual relationship is rapidly getting worse. Btw, US is behind Hongkong riot. The only reason why US is doing that is US is trying to mess up China just like what he has been doing in the rest of the world. US is afraid that China will take its place. This is the only reason and everyone in the world can see except American people, thanks for the U.S. Media and people like this old man who is telling all kinds of lies to fool US people. I have to say that Trump is the greatest US president ever. He make Chinese people eventually give up the finally little fantasy of US. He successfully make the whole world see the true face of US. He is definitely speeding up the fall of US and this is what exactly China would love to see. The funny thing is when US points its fingers to others, he never feels any shame of its double standards. US's falling is inevitable because there are too many people in the U.S. Like this old man.

  29. One way to kill a conversation is, " you have stolen my property" but not offer any proof of the theft. Worst, when you also have stolen many properties yourself and well documented in history. 😳

  30. The theory of tariffs on Chinese goods will move jobs back to U.S. is a totally fake one. US companies will move production line to Vietnam, Bangladesh, Mexico, anywhere where the cost of production is lower. This is the beauty of Capitalism, companies look for profit. To solve the trade deficit problem, U.S. needs to export more to China. Lift high tech export restrictions on China. Recall the sales ban to Huawei. If China wants to buy, sell them F-35, $150M a jet. Technologies are created in the U.S. Keep advancing it.

  31. 1. Most Asian nations and peoples have histories that are at least three thousand years old, and they're typically ethnicity homogeneous. Thus, our cultures are extremely developed and cultivated.
    2. The US is a young nation, and it's ethnically diverse. Most US citizens are multi-generational Americans, thus they've lost their cultural roots from the old world.
    3. It's tough for Americans to understand Asian politics b/c of the lack of any general cultural understanding.
    4. The PRC wants to revert back to the world order where the Middle Kingdom was the only "legitimate" civilization destined to rule earth with all other peoples on the planet having supposed to pay tribute to the Han Chinese civilization.
    5. Regardless of the PRC's current political structure, they just want to see the whole world kowtow to Han Chinese people, much how like the Japanese thought they were the "superior" race and civilization during the first half of the 20th Century…

  32. I see the decoupling will make enormous opportunities for European companies and Japanese companies, it has already started. China will increasingly open up to the outside world, and who wants to neglect 1.4b market except US? The truth is whichever US company excludes itself from China either Boeing or Apple would never be able to claim to be No.1 company in the world.

  33. This Global order is actually the American order and it is breaking because USA is fast losing its status as the sole super power of the world. And America can not reconcile that it will not be the world no 1 power in a decade or two.

  34. There's an assumption here that a "democratic" China would not want to establish hegemony over — at least — its own region. The US did that with respect to Latin America. Further, it actively worked against the British system of empire preferences.

    Unfortunately, China is just a normal power.

  35. The basic Chinese attitude is that China — under whatever political regime — is going to be the preeminent world power in another few decades, and has the right to begin to act as a great power.

  36. (3) The irony of the situation is that China's rise, altho very real, is — like most historical cycles — temporary. By the end of the 21st Century, the population of North America will equal China's (decreasing) population. So from the point of view of market power, it's a situation which will reverse itself. Further, if they can keep it, the democratic system prevailing in Europe, the Americas, Japan, S Korea, Australia, India will have an insurmountable demographic edge over China. The world isn't going to adopt China's "system".
    So there can be a policy of restraining, containing, objecting, etc., etc., that constrains, perhaps, some presumed Chinese "arrogance".

  37. in short USA began to realize that their sly covert plan to slowly change China into a democracy through global trade is not really bearing fruit but is slowly losing its past advantage. So time for Trump to end the show by decoupling.

  38. China now is quasi communist in terms of central governing while also quasi democracy in that it allows its citizens more freedom and for private enterprise to bloom. Do not expect it to change to total democracy.

  39. Not too sure how Mr Schell comes to his strange conclusions, making hollow claims about rule of law and presenting a masquerade of authoritarian fascism as democracy. The myth of the USA is clearly from a bygone epoch of fantasy that is no longer believed by any objective and grounded normal person.

  40. Orville is losing his marbles, why should any country be more like US? Other countries with different political system can get along so what's wrong to have different systems? Disappointing that Orville plays the same blame game.

  41. The history of America is filled with couplings and decouplings and this one is no different than all previous 'decouplings'. Typically, it is due to America no longer getting what it wants out of the relationship. To put the blame on Xi Jin Ping is akin to putting blame on Putin when America 'decoupled' from Russia post-Yeltsin. Or the Ayatollah post-Shah, or even King George at the time of Independence. It is an American trait that the global order has gotten used to.

  42. Its economics, all the other stuff people say is secondary. For example, If Huawei was such a security threat and government linked evil corporation like the US says it is why are european countries not heeding those warnings and continuing to rolling out 5G with Huawei then?

  43. This is laughable. China never wanted to "become like the US". The plan was always to return to back to China's supposed deserved place it had for 2000 years – number one.
    "They couldn't change their system"? News flash: they didnt WANT to change their system. They fooled arrogant Americans to think that the two countries would some how "converge". The Chinese played the US brilliantly.

  44. Since this man's Berkeley years, he has been bashing, demonizing, distorting the realities against China, specially now China is more powerful, this man's anexity reaches the ceiling can't evaporate,
    but more violent and aggressive attacking China makes fairytale, and propaganda bashing China. Wonder this man's chinese wife's role? This man also, speaks fluent Chinese.
    pl. takes note a man named Highlighted aka varies names always following me and deleted my comments when against the West Wild Dog against China. This Highlighted also, a
    Falun Gong member sponsored, paid by the Wests to assault China and Silenced the comments against West.

  45. The once happily married couple suddenly realized that their marriage was a mistake and a nasty divorce looks to be less painful and is fateful. Has America's Pearl Harbor history taught you anything? Study his grow up history, you will understand his character more. What can you expect from an American kid being bullied by his peers year after year, just like what he had been in the cultural revolution years. Get out your stick, just like what he did to the people of Hong Kong. The common American is too gentle heart.

  46. The public opinion of China is changing. The Western countries are finally waking up to the goals and ambitions of the CCP. Two systems that can not coexist… a authoritarian / totalitarian government that wants total control over its presents, or a democratic republic that values free speech, gun ownership, and personal property.

  47. Schell's characterization of XiJinPing is bullshit.
    He's cherrypicking China bashing and planting blame onto XiJinPing.

  48. China was trapped in the Soviet communist model: govt took care of all production. Then US came "to engage China". On the one hand, this benefits US corporations to open shop in China, and on the other, this benefits China to "embrace CHANGE by opening up".
    It was a sea change: China embraced Western capitalism! China invited the world to open shop in China and encouraged its own citizens to love private enterprises. The Chinese government STILL undertake those VITAL areas of production that private enterprises do not have the technology, money or clout to do or unwilling to do without a profit in sight for decades or forever. Say, huge infrastructural projects: the Three Gorges that generates gigawatts of electricity with irrigations areas of millions of acres, the high speed rail that covers tens of millions of miles, the Chinese North Star Positioning System …

    The Chinese adopted the FDR model. Nothing short of that model would satisfy the Chinese quest for DEMOCRACY which the Chinese define as freedom from getting killed or maimed by thugs, raising tens of millions from the poverty line, freedom from hunger, cold, lacking of shelter, education, disease, individual excellence untapped.
    But the US seems to view FDR as anathema. See how they treat Bernie Sanders. ( "I will not let one single piece of gold to leave my vault!" said the 1%)
    The Chinese do not want universal suffrage, been there, done that, known its deadly havoc by first hand experience, not to mention the experience of other countries' like Honduras, Libya, Egypt, Venezuela, Syria. Ukraine… Besides, how deranged can anyone be (barring his secret agenda) to suggest that a rock stable and fastest growing China should try a crazy IDEA like the US system to risk stability for chaos and bloodbath?

    The Chinese were politically long lost souls, until they found America with the FDR model. They love and admire America like their great teacher with untold gratitude to FDR.

    Suddenly came the Trump trade war. Of course it isn't a trade war! Any honest person honoring stats more than political win would know this: US corporations, US supply chain and US services have more to gain than Chinese exports to US that adds cheap labor to foreign parts (cf Apple phone). A trade war could hurt Chinese bottom lines which they are willing to swallow. But China knows "US want more than our money; they want our lives!"
    US wants China to stop subsidizing all the industries included in "made in China 2025". If China so agrees, US would have people placed in China to ensure the agreement is carried out to US satisfaction. China would have to reign in Huawei and slow down 5g development, China would reign in Belt and Road…What if China say yes to all the demands? How about South Sea, Xinjiang, Tibet, Hong Kong…The Chinese can't let go of face, but they scream inside their hearts, "please let us live so we can let you keep profiteering from us as is the status quo"

    The US narrative has shifted from engaging China to destroying China. Their rhetoric? "They do not share our system and values".The endgame? Nobody knows. But please don't go down this path.

    China believes US wants Regime change for China like they did to USSR, Syria, Libya, Egypt, Venezuela, Iraq, (going to be Iran where US vows "not a drop of oil will leave Iran")

    What is China to do? It has to build up its defense in South China Sea, ally with Russia and North Korea and (maybe Iran and Syria), shore up its tech and weapons capabilities, including missile, nuclear and space war arsenal in a "scrambling for every last minutes" spree to prepare for that eventuality. The Chinese are a proud people. They rather die than stomach another 150 years of humility under Western warships and firepower. They have to push the Brinkmanship to the bloody end in lock steps with the US. The endgame???

    Is there a way to reverse the trend. I believe yes. If the US looks after its own people by embracing FDR to build infrastructure; if the US stops spoon feeding its people with the hate speech "they don't share our values and systems" ; if the US allows international free competition in 5G and other tech, if the US promotes competition in STEM rather than stymie anyone that comes close; if the US stops weaponizing its $ for political wins, maybe the world will heave a sigh of relief.

  49. Policy is to decouple and drain capital out of China. This way China can understand you cannot keep a communist government to trade with a capitalist world! Trump is doing the right thing!

  50. Why we allow so many Chinese students in our country is mind boggling. These people are not our friends. They are here to STEAL!

  51. The speaker talk as one side view, the facts is China is rising fast and almost wanna to take over the global order and US model is failing. China model work pretty well and moving faster than expected. Both Taiwan and HK are domestic affairs and none of US business.

  52. no offend but aren't you american attitudes on other countries only base on their power? Just look how your treat weak powered countries like Philippine, Venezuela or even much more developed countries like Japan and Germnay. Now you are talking abouot arrogant China because they refused to be reformed by the US? How arrogant!

  53. China should have been confronted decades ago, but idiots like this guy were afraid to do it. Now, the problem is much worse than it should have been. At least Trump sees his duty of having to bring about fair trade with china. If they don't change tariffs will work. It may sting a little but it will work.

  54. The speaker is a liar. He blames China for the problem. It is the USA that turned against China. When China becomes too strong, it starts to threaten the US' dominance on the world. This is the real problem. The trade war was started by US. A few years later, some liars will blame China for starting the trade war.

  55. So many triggered Chinese in the comments. It only demonstrates that they are insecure and can’t face the truth. You never hear any facts from Chinese nationalists, only trash talking and repeating lies they hear from Inside the Great Firewall 😂.

  56. Democratically hahahaha killing poor people innocent civilians in the world and specially in the middle east, go fuck yourself with your fake democracy fucking bastards

  57. CONTINENTAL TRADING BLOCKS AND NEW INFRASTRUCTURE. ( NORTH AND SOUTH AMERICA TO LESSEN NEED FOR IMMIGRATION. Worst fitting suits? show that intelligence is not talent nor persistence in excellence. lol

  58. but not understanding that " engagement , was a two-way street" lol. is this old fool for real? he talking about amerikkkans? or "communism" red chyna?

  59. Old man go away and die, thank goodness you will be dead soon, stupid old racist white full! Your corrupt evil empire the USA is in decline and self destructing, and your government has the population addicted to opioids and because of this, thank your God the Mexican drug cartels are getting rich as the plebs need more and more drugs and your crime rate is soaring haha, no wall can stop it,

  60. He said engagement is a ‘two-way street’. While he spoke about the challenge from China, he failed to speak about the intervene of China’s internal affairs from the United States, which lead to the insecurity of the CCP. That’s why the CCP tried to build its own order. As he said, ‘two-way street’, this kind of disengagement and distrust comes for decades before Trump that both sides have responsibilities. He also said China should be, if not friend, at least not enemy. That only works when both sides restrained themselves from trying to change other’s system. The US was clearly more guilty on this part, as he said ‘call me arrogant’. He said the problem is that China cannot get rid of the CCP. But look at Russia, they got rid of the Communist, does Putin and Russia become more friendly to the US? Although I spoke a lot against his words, I do respect his great works on Sino-US relationship and I can see his great disappointment on this topic. That kind of sense of failure can only exist from a man that really have love and enthusiasm for his career. I hope he would have a chance to come to Chicago one day to make another speech.

  61. Decoupling? It will be like the UK's withdrawal from "east of Suez". They know they can no longer compete. Better to preserve influence in a smaller empire than to collapse.

  62. Yifan Tang:
    Your message forgets one important fact: Chinese people are trying every means possible to enter and stay in US. Chinese women, in particular, have been trying to give birth in US so their children can be US citizens. The police raids these so called "After Birth Facility" run by other Chinese in different US cities, even the US territory in the Pacific, constantly. The Great Chinese Mother Land obviously is not great enough for these Chinese to stay.
    I've never heard of Americans doing everything trying to stay in China, certainly no "After Birth Facility" for American women found in any Chinese city.
    This simple fact speaks volume. Don't you agree?

  63. ALL AMERICA TALKS ABOUT IS HER OWN INTEREST. No free meal, US is only want Ch8na to counter Russia, and using China as their cheap labor to produce cheap goods for American people. Is all driven by interest.

  64. No mention of 400 military based surrounded China + two super huge military bases in Japan and Korea. This stupid forum further telling one sided story to Dartmouth university. I will never send my kid to these colleagues. These are people that make China need to be defense themself, otherwise history was repeat itself, that is being bully by the West.

  65. Hong Kong was China territory, it was rob by the British when China loss the War. Basically is being bully. Taiwan when was a country by itself, even the US and UN in 1948 agreed Taiwan is part of China, so why now it Change??? Nonsense, fake and evil. All for money and white supremacy ideal for your own good.

  66. WHAT A LIES. AMERICA GIVE AND GIVE AND GIVE……WHAT A LIE, WHAT A LOW LIFE PROF? I hope the listener educated enough to understand the underlying motive, is to poison the student. What punish the farmer, u r talking about free market, so who own who. China did not ask America farmer to only produce for China. The fact is US has been taking China for granted. Bully China, force China to used US dollars to buy oil, and in turn used the money to built up military bases to lock China up. Who is more evil. And why the whole world is not friendly with the US.

  67. exactly, remodel the current SSA -with China against Russia (created during Nixon, lets say) to a -with Russia against China

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