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May 31, 2018

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South Korean President Moon Jae-in meets with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during their summit at the truce village of Panmunjom, North Korea, in this handout picture released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on May 27, 2018.  KCNA/via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, CONTENT, LOCATION OR DATE OF THIS IMAGE. NO THIRD PARTY SALES. SOUTH KOREA OUT. - RC1FAB5E7670
The logo of China's ZTE Corp is seen on a building in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, China April 19, 2018. Picture taken April 19, 2018. REUTERS/Stringer  ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. CHINA OUT. - RC1E7CC92770

Brookings-Sunnylands US-China Leaders Forum

This month, the John L. Thornton China Center and The Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands hosted the third U.S.-China Leaders Forum at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse and Jinhai Lake Resort in Beijing.

The Forum, which was held in China for the first time and sponsored locally by Tsinghua University, brought together a select group of participants that included high-level policymakers, business entrepreneurs, innovators, military strategists, scholars, and public intellectuals to develop and promote ideas for increased collaboration between the two countries.

Research & Commentary

The Trump administration’s chaotic Taiwan policy

Improving upon Trump’s high-risk, low-yield China trade policy

A step-by-step plan for denuclearizing North Korea

Why a new office building in Taiwan is heightening U.S.-China tensions

Wuhan Summit: An important signal of intent by India and China

Utility of renewable energy in China’s low-carbon transition

Recent challenges are an opportunity for Taiwan to build policy consensus

In The News

Western-educated Chinese return home in droves. In an article about China’s so-called “sea turtles”— citizens educated in the West who then return to China—The Economist cites research by Cheng Li, who calculates that “at least one-fifth of the 370-odd members of the party’s current Central Committee, appointed last October, have spent at least a year on a foreign campus, mostly in the West. That is twice as many as ten years earlier.”

Cancelled Trump-Kim summit could raise trade pressure on China. To the extent that alignment in U.S. and Chinese goals for a non-nuclear North Korea have helped stabilize the bilateral trade relationship, that ballast appears to have weakened. “President Trump will feel fewer constraints on pressing China to acquiesce to his requests,” Ryan Hass tells Bloomberg. David Dollar echoes that assessment in an interview with the Los Angeles Times, but adds that the possibility of rescheduling the Trump-Kim summit “pushes the U.S. to be less hawkish” with China than it might otherwise be.

Outcome of U.S.-China trade talks depends on Trump and Xi. The visit of a high-level U.S. delegation to Beijing earlier this month shows the importance the Trump administration places on this issue. But any trade agreement between the two countries will ultimately come down to Presidents Trump and Xi, Cheng Li tells Phoenix TV (in Chinese).

U.S. withdrawal from Iran nuclear agreement may affect negotiations with North Korea. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Jonathan Pollack says, “If the U.S. walks away from negotiated agreements, particularly ones agreed to by prior administrations, I don’t think that would give North Korea any particular incentives to turn over what it’s got.”

Xi Jinping's vision for Xiong'an New Area takes shape. Although the project to develop Xiong'an is still in its infant stages, and significant challenges abound, it is clear that Xi Jinping is placing significant political stock in the successful development of this new "digital city." An article in the Financial Times quotes recent analysis from Cheng Li: "Just as Shenzhen and Pudong [in Shanghai] are considered gems of the Deng era, Xi aspires to see his name associated with a new urban miracle."

About The China Center

The John L. Thornton China Center develops timely, independent analysis and policy recommendations to help U.S. and Chinese leaders address key long-term challenges, both in terms of U.S.-China relations and China's internal development.

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