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A New Tone in US-China Relations?

Both the US and Chinese governments must start to understand that combining cooperation with competition is the best way forward. Presidents Joe Biden and Xi Jinping, both chastened by four years of Trumpian disruption, have a real chance to reverse the course of bilateral relations.

HONG KONG – Donald Trump has left the White House, but Trumpism has not left US politics. With Joe Biden as America’s president, the world hopes that the United States will shift away from Trump’s disruptive confrontational approach toward China relations and embark on a path of pragmatic engagement. At stake is whether this crucial bilateral relationship serves to strengthen or shatter the global order.

Trump and COVID-19 have together provided painful but essential tests of both national well-being and the concept of an interconnected global order. Trump viewed globalization as a hindrance to America’s national aspirations. But the pandemic proved that we live in an interconnected global society.

Systemic threats like the pandemic are beyond any country’s power to resolve. If we neglect the health and livelihoods of the world’s poorest, the coronavirus will mutate and come back to haunt us, even in the richest walled-in community.