U.S.-China Relations in the Biden Era

The Hinckley Institute Radio Hour (Original Air Date: February 16, 2022) — This week, 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 one in a growing list of grievances between the two countries including international norms, geopolitical control, intellectual property and the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The ongoing war in Eastern Europe has also caused heightened tensions between the U.S. and China.

During a May trip to Tokyo, President Biden made a comment that “[w]e agree with the One China policy” but said the U.S. would militarily defend Taiwan if it was attacked by Chinese forces. Biden’s response was later walked back by the White House and the president insists the policy toward China remains unchanged but the comments do break with the established U.S. policy of “strategic ambiguity” towards Taiwan. During the same trip to Japan, Biden unveiled a new trade initiative with 12 Indo-Pacific countries aimed at limiting China’s growing power in the region.

This week’s panel digs into the complexities of U.S.-China relations and looks back to the early days of the Biden presidency and how international norms have rapidly shifted since then. 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.