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May 30, 2019

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China's President Xi Jinping looks on during a meeting with Laos' Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith (not seen) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, December 1, 2016. REUTERS/ Nicolas Asouri/Pool - RTSU5K1
People wait outside the U.S. embassy, near the site of a blast in Beijing, China July 26, 2018. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj - RC19516BE290
China's State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi (L) and Vietnam's Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh walk to a meeting room at the Government Guesthouse in Hanoi, Vietnam April 1, 2018. REUTERS/Kham - RC142FA2A510

Upcoming event

In Kissinger’s orbit: A conversation with Ambassador Winston Lord

On June 14, the John L. Thornton China Center will host Winston Lord, former U.S. ambassador to China, for the launch of his new book, “Kissinger on Kissinger: Reflections on Diplomacy, Grand Strategy, and Leadership.” Lord will share highlights from the project and insights from his many years of working with Henry Kissinger.

Research and commentary

June 4, 1989: A personal recollection

30 years after Tiananmen Square, a look back on Congress’ forceful response

A primer on how Chinese law might enforce a US-China trade deal

China’s epic push for cleaner energy creates economic opportunity for the West

In the news

State Department official's comments draw rebuke. After Kiron Skinner, the director of the Office of Policy Planning at the State Department, seemed to characterize U.S.-China competition in racial terms earlier this month, Cheng Li told Newsweek that this framing was deeply misguided.

U.S. and China digging in heels over trade war. Efforts to reach a U.S.-China trade deal hit an impasse in early May, with the United States and China now appearing to gird themselves for a prolonged standoff. "We find ourselves stuck in this dilemma where both sides think they have leverage over the other, and neither appears willing to make the compromises necessary to reach a deal," Ryan Hass told PBS NewsHour. David Dollar echoed this view in an interview with the Associated Press: "I increasingly think that this is going to turn into a long-term trade conflict. We have to entertain the possibility that there is no deal."

Chinese reversals on trade signal domestic concerns? Part of the difficulty in resolving the trade dispute seems to be finding a way for both sides to resolve their disagreements without appearing timid before their respective publics. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Cheng Li explained that the latest developments in U.S.-China trade talks were a window into the psyche of China's political leaders.

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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