Discussing US 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.


mr George Magnus

George Magnus is an independent economist and commentator, Associate at the China Centre, Oxford University, and researcher at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. He also holds advisory roles to several asset management companies.

Mr Magnus is a regular contributor to the Financial Times, Times and Nikkei Asian Review comment pages, and appears periodically on BBC TV and radio, Bloomberg TV and other outlets.

Earlier in his career, Mr. Magnus was senior economic advisor to UBS Investment Bank, and before that, Chief Economist at the firm. He also held positions as Chief Economist at S.G. Warburg, Chief International Economist at Chase Securities and Head of Economics for Europe, the Middle East and Africa at Bank of America. Within this period, he also served for several years as the Chair of the Investment Committee of the Trustee Board of UBS(UK) pension and life assurance fund.

Mr Magnus is widely acknowledged for having predicted a ‘Minsky Moment’ in 2007 in the onset of the global financial crisis—that the US-subprime mortgage crisis would trigger a global recession.

He is also the author of several books including, most recently, his 2018 publication ‘Red Flags: Xi’s China in Jeopardy’ which discusses Four Traps that face China (debt, currency, demography, and middle income) and the challenges of the Belt and Road Initiative.

professor Xu hongcai

Professor Xu Hongcai, a renowned economist and professor in finance, currently serves as the Deputy Chief Economist at the China Center for International Economic Exchanges (CCIEE), adjunct professor at China Capital University of Economics and Business and Independent Non-Executive Director of the China Everbright Bank Company Limited. Prof. Xu obtained his Master degree in Philosophy from the Renmin University of China in 1993, Ph.D in Economics from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in 1996.

Over the course of his career, he has published numerous books including China’s and Global economic governance in the time of change, China's Economy in the context of globalization, Futures and other Derivatives, China’s Financial Strategies, Chinese Multilayer Market, Investment Banking, and Encyclopedia of Investment Fund, etc.



professor cui fan

Professor in International Trade of the University of International Business and Economics (UIBE), Beijing, China; Director of Research, China Society for WTO Studies; Senior Counsel, Beijing office of Dentons law firm; Advisor, advisory committee on Global Value Chains, Ministry of Commerce, China. Dr. Cui holds a PhD in Economics and an LLM in International Commercial Law, both from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) of the UK.