Panel 1

A Discussion on U.S. China Relations: Beyond the Trade War

The combination of a powerful economy with a relatively opaque political system has long put China’s every move at western scrutiny. Clearly, China has diverged from the western model of development, and recent projects such as the Belt and Road Initiative reveal an ambition which challenges the incumbent global order—a model of the world based on western ideals and headed by the United States.


Under the leadership of President Donald Trump, the U.S. appears determined to curb Chinese influence. The world watches the trade war. The showdown over trade has already led to the imposition of tariffs on more than $350 billion worth of goods from both sides, with more speculated to come. In its condemning rhetoric, the U.S. has mixed in accusations of intellectual property theft by Chinese businesses and national security concerns from growing Chinese soft-power. Still, tension is becoming increasingly multi-dimensional with conflicting U.S.-China interests over Taiwan and in the South China Sea.


What will the end of engagement between the U.S. and China bring for the future of international politics? What are the implications of the trade war for the domestic economies and wider global trade? How will changing domestic sentiment as a response to growing economic pressure in turn affect the narrative of U.S.-China relations? This panel will aim to understand the nature of the U.S.-China relationship and the new world order which will emerge in light of it.

Phyllis Takahashi

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Wayne Rhee

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Shirley Green

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Carlos Edwards

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Nicole Davis

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