Senior Fellow, Yale University
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.”
Feb 01, 2023
Technology is ground zero in the conflict between the United States and China. For the American hegemon, it is about the leading edge of geostrategic power and the means for sustained prosperity. For China, it holds the key to the indigenous innovation required of a rising power. The tech war now underway between the two superpowers could well be the defining struggle of the twenty-first century.
Sep 30, 2022
It is tempting to give America’s Federal Reserve great credit for its recent about-face in tackling inflation. It is equally tempting to give Chinese President Xi Jinping great credit for his stewardship of a rising and strong China. But neither deserves it – and for a similar reason.
Apr 27, 2022
The predictable downward revision cycle for the global economic outlook has officially begun. That’s the message from the semi-annual World Economic Outlook just released by the International Monetary Fund, which reinforces earlier revisions from several prominent private forecasting teams.
Mar 14, 2022
My recent commentary, “Only China Can Stop Russia,” stirred up strong arguments on both sides of the increasingly contentious debate over the horrific war in Ukraine. While most in the West recognize the need for extraordinary actions in extraordinary times and agree that China has an important role to play in resolving the conflict, those sympathetic to Russia’s concerns over border security and NATO enlargement argue that China has no reason to weigh in. But both posed the obvious and important follow-up question: What exactly can China do to restore peace and stability to Ukraine?
Mar 08, 2022
With war raging in Ukraine, China’s annual “Two Sessions” convey an image of a country in denial. As the Communist Party and its advisory body gather in Beijing this month, there has been little or no mention of a seismic disruption in the world order – an omission that is all the more glaring in view of China’s deep-rooted sense of its unique place in history. With its unabashed great power aspirations, modern China may well be at a decisive juncture.
Mar 08, 2022
History’s turning points are rarely evident with great clarity. But the February 4 joint statement of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping as the Winter Olympics opened in Beijing may be an exception – signaling a new turning point in a new Cold War.
Mar 25, 2021
It wasn’t just the weather that was cold when senior US and Chinese officials convened recently in Anchorage, Alaska to try to reset their countries’ relations after four years of mounting tension. Sadly, the meeting was more reminiscent of the Cold War era than of a fresh start. That needs to change quickly – before it is too late.
Nov 03, 2020
Just as China led the world in economic recovery in the aftermath of the global financial crisis of 2008, it is playing a similar role today. Its post-COVID rebound is gathering momentum amid a developed world that remains on shaky ground. Unfortunately, this is a bitter pill for many to swallow – especially in the United States, where demonization of China has reached epic proportions.