Following a pivotal meeting between President Trump and President Xi at the G20 Summit, the China-United States Exchange Foundation (CUSEF) and the China Center for International Economic Exchanges (CCIEE) jointly co-hosted an international forum titled “U.S.-China Trade & Economic Relations: What Now, What Next" in Hong Kong. Bringing together over 40 influential experts on the China-US relationship, the Forum generated an honest discussion regarding the current state of economic ties between the two nations as well as the potential for stronger collaboration in the future. Over July 9th and 10th, the Forum created a space for dialogue on the perceptions, policies, and practices that will shape the economic interactions between China and the United States for years to come.
Speakers emphasized that the current domestic political climate in both China and the United States cannot be discounted, but also noted that a change in leadership in the White House would not automatically reset the U.S.-China relationship to its 2016 status. For many, a permanent change must be acknowledged for new productive policies to take hold. Further, the broader environment in which China and the U.S. compete has shifted: while the economy is still a main focus of the bilateral relationship, technology, geography, and security considerations also play a large role in the way that the two nations perceive one another. As the power balance between the U.S. and China shifts toward rivalry, some are concerned that policy may be driven more by those who view the party across the table as a foe rather than a friend.
In identifying key ways to resolve tensions between China and the U.S., panelists discussed the significance of finding transnational, non-economic problems on which the two countries can cooperate—both in diplomacy as well as the private sector such as nuclear proliferation and climate change. Speakers also highlighted the competing definitions of “success” in the trade war, noting that resolving the differences between these concepts will be crucial to achieving a deal.
Founder and Chairman of CUSEF, Tung Chee-hwa, remarked that, “Our discussions will not only be useful and give inspiration but also will encourage people to take an extra step in support of this very important US-China relationship,” hoping that all those who participated left the Forum feeling more positive and more confident about the future relationship of these two countries.
For highlights, photos, and videos from this exclusive event, please visit the Forum’s page.