U.S.-China Relations in the Biden Era

The Hinckley Institute Radio Hour (Original Air Date: March 31, 2021— Today a panel discussion on what to expect of U.S.-China relations during the Biden administration, as well as the long history between the two nations and where we go from here.

The United States and China are the two largest economies in the world, with China set to eclipse the U.S. economy in size within a decade. But economic issues are only the first in a long list of collaborations and contentions between the U.S. and China. Disagreements over international norms, geopolitical control, intellectual property and national sovereignty have regularly set China and the U.S. at odds on the world stage. Additionally, Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump, frequently blamed China for the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic — a sentiment that led to a demonstrable increase in anti-Asian racism in the United States. 

In November, President Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping discussed several critical issues between the two nations during a three-and-a-half-hour virtual summit. Xi specifically warned that supporting Taiwanese independence would be “playing with fire” and criticized the U.S. moves to create political blocs in the Pacific region. Biden spoke in support of “guardrails” to prevent future disagreements from rising to outright conflict. The two world leaders also plan to hold future nuclear arms talks even as both countries prepare to reinforce their nuclear arsenals.

Today’s panel digs into the complexities of U.S.-China relations and discusses where they can go from here. The panelists include Steve On, associate professor of political science at the National Sun Yat-sen University, and Yanqi Tong, professor of political science at the University of Utah. Moderating today’s discussion is Ann Lopez, forum host for the Hinckley Institute.

This forum was put on in partnership with the University of Utah’s Asia Center.

This forum was recorded on March 1st, 2021.