tirsdag 2. april 2024

U.S.-China Relations in 2024: Managing Competition without Conflict

From 2018 to 2023, U.S.-China relations were in a linear downward spiral. The trade war, the pandemic, growing technology competition, rising tensions in the South China Sea and the Taiwan Strait, and contrasting approaches to the Russia-Ukraine conflict have collectively fed a sense of fatalism that the countries were heading toward the abyss of outright economic decoupling and a disastrous military conflict.

The summit meeting between Presidents Joe Biden and Xi Jinping held in November near San Francisco, just in advance of the APEC Economic Leaders’ Week, was the culmination of a year-long process that calmed the waters. The two sides announced a range of deliverables on economic and security issues and tried to convey a sense that they could effectively manage their differences. Although the United States and China are still engaged in a comprehensive contest for power and over setting the global rules of the game, guardrails are gradually being created, and as a result, the likelihood of the most disastrous outcomes has receded.