pei74_XinhuaHuang Jingwen via Getty Images_biden xi - Copy Xinhua/Huang Jingwen via Getty Images

Biden, Xi, and the Evolution of Cooperation

The only way to prevent Sino-American relations from deteriorating further is for either US President Joe Biden or Chinese President Xi Jinping to offer a goodwill gesture, and then respond in kind to the other’s subsequent moves. And Xi appears better positioned to take the initiative.

CLAREMONT, CALIFORNIA – I don’t know whether US President Joe Biden, Chinese President Xi Jinping, and their foreign-policy advisers have read Robert Axelrod’s classic  book on international relations,The Evolution of Cooperation. But they should heed Axelrod’s central insight about how countries can benefit from cooperation and punish cheating.