Senior Fellow, Yale University
Feb 29, 2024
FBI Director Christopher Wray recently upped the ante in America’s anti-China campaign. In congressional testimony on January 31, he sounded the alarm over intensified Chinese hacking activity and warned that US infrastructure – telecommunications, energy, transportation, and water – is acutely vulnerable to the Chinese state-sponsored hacker group Volt Typhoon. Front-page coverage by the New York Times added to the sense of urgency.
Jan 31, 2024
China is at a critical juncture. Its deflation-prone debt-intensive economy is seriously underperforming. Its government has become embroiled in a major superpower conflict with the United States. And it is staring down the barrel of a demographic crisis. Worst of all, Chinese authorities are responding to these challenges more with ideology and stale tactics from the past, rather than with breakthrough reforms. Imaginative solutions to tough problems are in scarce supply.
Dec 02, 2023
“A Better Biden-Xi Summit?” was the title of my commentary last month, and the emphasis was on the question mark. With good reason: Last year’
Nov 03, 2023
All eyes are on the upcoming leaders’ meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), to be held in San Francisco from November 11-17. And with good reason: there is a distinct possibility that US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping will meet on the sidelines of this pan-regional gathering, exactly one year after their last summit in Bali on the eve of the annual G20 summit.
Oct 03, 2023
The debate over the difference between tactics and strategy is as rich as it is enduring. In his seminal 1996 article in the Harvard Business Review, Harvard’s Michael Porter tackled this issue head on. While his focus was business, his arguments can be applied much more broadly – including to today’s Sino-American rivalry.
Jul 27, 2023
American politicians have a long history of mangling economic-policy debates. Some recognize reality, like when George H.W. Bush characterized so-called supply-side tax cuts as “voodoo economics.” But far too many to distort economic statistics and analysis to score political points – think of “Modern Monetary Theory” or “deficit scolds.”
Jun 29, 2023
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s long-delayed trip to Beijing has come and gone. Despite the predictable optimistic spin on the visit – both sides agreed to strengthen people-to-people exchanges and promised to continue talks – it did little to defuse the increasingly fraught conflict between the United States and China.
Jun 08, 2023
Setting up a new joint secretariat could be key to keeping engagement between the world's leading economies on track.
May 31, 2023
In his now-classic 2018 book, AI Superpowers, Kai-Fu Lee threw down the gauntlet in arguing that China poses a growing technological threat to the United States. When Lee gave a guest lecture to my “Next China” class at Yale in late 2019, my students were enthralled by his provocative case: America was about to lose its first-mover advantage in discovery (the expertise of AI’s algorithms) to China’s advantage in implementation (big-data-driven applications).
Apr 28, 2023
Five years into a once-unthinkable trade war with China, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen chose her words carefully on April 20. In a wide-ranging speech, she reversed the terms of US engagement with China, prioritizing national-security concerns over economic considerations. That formally ended a 40-year emphasis on economics and trade as the anchor to the world’s most important bilateral relationship. Yellen’s stance on security was almost confrontational: “We will not compromise on these concerns, even when they force trade-offs with our economic interests.”