Conversation on U.S.-China Relations
The World Affairs Council and the Washington State China Relations Council (WSCRC) welcomed James Green, trade policy adviser to U.S. Ambassador to China Terry Branstad, and Mercy Kuo, President of the WSCRC. K&L Gates LLP hosted the lunch and discussion moderated by World Affairs Council President and CEO Jacqueline Miller. belstaff mens jackets john lewis Mr. Green and Dr. Kuo addressed recent concerns regarding security, trade, President Trump’s relationship with President Xi Jinping and the 19th Party Congress.
In light of the recent Chinese Communist Party Congress, which elevated current President Xi’s political status, Mr. Green and Dr. Kuo addressed China’s expanding sphere of influence. Not only has President Xi been able to consolidate power in China, but he has also managed to get himself written into his party’s constitution, putting him on the same level of achievement as previous leaders Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping. This “New Era” promised by the Chinese president, and now written into the constitution, speaks to China’s rising levels of international influence in Asia and beyond.
Mr. Green and Dr. Kuo, however, expressed that while concern about China replacing the United States as a major power in Asia has been on the rise, the United States still maintains more allies on the continent than China does. As President Xi claims greater power, other Asian countries find themselves pulling away from a Chinese stronghold.
The Belt and Road Initiative has been written into China’s constitution, which would create a series of interconnected trade deals and infrastructure projects between China and Europe and Africa, is another one of President Xi’s efforts to expand China’s global influence. However, Mr. Green and Dr. Kuo speculated that there is more talk about the initiative than action. The project may not be nearly as influential as initially expected.
In terms of security, and with all eyes on North Korea right now, Mr. Green and Dr. Kuo fielded questions of China’s current relationship with North Korea in the context of pressure from the United States. While the U.S. has tried to influence Chinese opinion and policy, such as the imposition of sanctions, in regards to North Korea, these efforts have not proved to be impactful. Scarpe Adidas However, China has been reconsidering their status with North Korea independent of urges from the United States.
Though a main factor of conflict escalation, North Korea is not the sole concern. The South China Sea has historically been a contributor to high tension in the region even before he U.S. action earlier this year. The experts at the discussion maintained that while the threat of danger in the South China Sea may always exist, neither party seems interested in intentionally escalating conflict. However, they warned, if conflict were to arise, United States officials who have worked to make personal connections with Chinese counterparts may not find these relationships useful as a means of de-escalation due to the potential for increasingly heavy internal pressures in China.
Despite these complicated relations between the U.S. and China, Mr. Green felt optimistic about President Trump’s November meeting with President Xi. He believes there is a real rapport between the two leaders and he expects that sentiment to continue. However, Mr.