News roundup: How complicated are U.S.-China relations about to get?

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How complicated are U.S.-China relations about to get?

Articles grappling with the new reality of a Trump presidency and its implications for China and U.S.-China relations continue to pour out of media organizations.

A few highlights of this coverage include an article from The Wall Street Journal, which explores how Trump’s turn as America’s top leader might shake up and inject confusion into U.S.-China economic relations. The authors declare that the U.S.-led Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is “toast,” a trade war may begin, and a decline in the U.S. dollar may boost the status of the yuan. In short, the U.S.-China relationship will be “at the center” of a changed world for companies and investors. Reuters reports that with the TPP in jeopardy, Chinese officials are trying to build up support for their Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific (FTAAP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

Broad reactions from across East Asia were summed up clearly in this article from The New York Times: “There was disbelief that Mr. Trump would follow through on his trade threats,” while at the same time, and perhaps more importantly, “there was also unease that his election could portend a retreat by the United States from the region that could embolden China, force Japan and South Korea to consider alternatives to the American nuclear umbrella and unleash long-suppressed tensions.” Those tensions include Japanese nationalism, which has been heating up in recent years, and the potential for South Korea to go nuclear as it guards against threats from the north.

SupChina has also produced a special analysis of the news with an extra Sinica Podcast featuring Isaac Stone Fish, a senior fellow at the Asia Society’s Center on U.S.-China Relations and a former Asia editor at Foreign Policy. Kaiser and Isaac address some tricky questions: Are Chinese elites and the Communist Party leadership happy with the outcome? Will Trump’s fiery anti-China rhetoric on the campaign trail translate into actual policy? And how will the Trump victory impact views on democracy among Chinese people?

More China stories to watch are linked below.



  • Beijing to the U.S.: Your democracy is broken, please don’t change a thing / Quartz
    Among the reactions from Chinese officials and state media to Trump’s victory, a call for stability is a resounding theme, as well as the importance of the economic ties between the nations.
  • Opinion: China can become a better hedge against U.S. risk / Reuters
    “The election of Donald Trump as the next U.S. president opens the door for greater Chinese influence in Asia at American expense. To take advantage, however, China must share its wealth more widely and treat neighbors more like partners and less like the client states many used to be,” writes Pete Sweeney.
  • U.K.-China relations still ‘golden,’ says prime minister, as investment talks open / The Guardian
    Britain’s prime minister, Theresa May, and the nation’s chancellor are meeting with senior officials from China to try to obtain about $6.3 billion worth of investments in infrastructure and property deals.
  • Chinese official Meng Hongwei to head Interpol / BBC
    China’s vice minister of public security, Meng Hongwei, is the first Chinese citizen to serve as president of the executive committee of the agency that facilitates global police cooperation. The appointment raised worries with Amnesty International about Interpol’s influence on the arrest of Chinese refugees and dissidents abroad.