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U.S.-China Relations Following Trump’s Inauguration, Part II

A China in the World Podcast

As Donald Trump’s inauguration approaches, uncertainty looms over the future of U.S.-China policy. In Part II of this podcast, Paul Haenle spoke with Chen Dingding, an International Relations professor at Jinan University and founding Director of the Intellisia Institute, about the Chinese reaction to Trump’s election and his views on how it could impact future bilateral relations.

On North Korea, one of the most pressing agenda items for the incoming administration, Chen said the claim that China has not done enough to address the problem is both true and false. While China could place tougher sanctions on North Korea, it does not have the leverage the United States believes it possesses to prevent Pyongyang from continuing its nuclear weapons program development. Although tensions are likely to intensify in areas like the South China Sea, Chen said China’s leaders will focus on maintaining stable relations with the United States and will not want to “pick a fight.” Indeed, he believes that perceived Chinese aggression would lend Washington more cause to intervene in the region. Moreover, Chen said China’s leaders will turn their focus to domestic matters in the run-up to the 19th Party Congress, the most important political event of the year for China.