U.S.-China Tensions over Trade and Technology

A China in the World Podcast

Trade tensions between the U.S. and China continue to escalate, accentuating disagreements on economic policy and fueling competition over emerging technologies. In this podcast, Paul Haenle sat down with Chen Dingding, Professor of International Relations at Jinan University, to discuss Chinese reactions to the ongoing trade dispute and bilateral competition surrounding strategic technologies like artificial intelligence.

Chen says deteriorating bilateral relations are due both to the Trump administration’s trade policies and to a growing U.S. consensus that foreign policy toward China should be reevaluated. The Chinese government’s view that industrial policy is a legitimate tool to promote economic growth stands in stark contrast to the U.S. position that market forces should play a leading role in economic development. Chen and Haenle agree that a clear line between the market and state should be drawn, or else policies such as Made in China 2025 will remain major points of bilateral contention. The rapid pace of technological development makes it difficult to predict the full breadth of technology’s future impact on global affairs, Chen says. However, he argues governments should study the implications of emerging technologies on foreign policy, as they will play a consequential role in the future of great power relations.