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April 19, 2024
Focus This Week
A community space to discuss the China-U.S. relationship and beyond.

As tensions between China and the European Union increase, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz met with various Chinese officials this week, including President Xi Jinping, in efforts to strike a "delicate" balance, promoting business ties while addressing concerns over China's surging export volumes to Europe and its support for Russia in their ongoing conflict with Ukraine.

During the discussions, Scholz echoed broader European apprehensions about China's growing presence in the European market, particularly regarding the influx of Chinese goods sold at potentially unsustainable prices. Scholz's critique of China's industrial capacity also aligns with U.S. concerns, following recent statements on China's overcapacity expressed by U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen during her latest diplomatic visit to Beijing.

However, some experts argue that Western criticisms of China's surplus production ignore historical instances of Western nations using surplus goods for economic gain. They also question the narrow definition of overcapacity and the consistency of trade policies across borders.

Jens Eskelund, President of the European Chamber in China, also recently said that while worries about trade in both countries were legitimate, there was a risk of unproductive decoupling and a full trade war if European and Chinese leaders don't increase dialogue.

Meanwhile, San Francisco Mayor London Breed is the latest U.S. politician to visit China to promote business ties and people-to-people exchanges. On Thursday, she joined wildlife protection officials in Beijing to announce that the San Francisco Zoo has been selected to receive a pair of giant pandas. The announcement comes before Secretary of State Antony Blinken's visit to China next week, as the two countries work to ease tensions and foster dialogue.

For more on China-U.S. relations and beyond, catch up on our latest Focus content, including topics on EV manufacturing, Beijing and Washington's impacts on ASEAN, and TikTok, as well as our recent Digest magazine: Navigation Relations, with exclusive commentaries from Joseph Nye, Jia Qingguo, Charlene Barshefsky, and more.

Focus Insights
Quote of the Week
"Although it is easy for partisan politicians to trash TikTok to win a few votes, a better argument should be required to divest 170 million Americans of an app which they enjoy…A ban would be especially harmful for America's international reputation."
Doug Bandow
Senior Fellow, Cato Institute

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Notable Number

The number of all-electric vehicles China sold in 2023, leading China's automaker BYD to become the 2023 world leader in EV sales, passing Tesla for the first time.

Learn more in "China's EV Battery Industry Goes Abroad: the U.S. Reaction and Restrictions," by Eric Harwit, Professor, University of Hawaii Asian Studies Program

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A look into cultural stories from our affiliate platform, The China Current.

Carol Yu | Women@WEF

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Carol Yu, Co-Founder of Shenzhen Innox, shares about her work at the intersection of education and entrepreneurship. She speaks of the growing global possibilities for young entrepreneurs in China.
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Question of the Week:

In our Focus Insights section, we shared an article by Fudan University professor Zhao Minghao, where he provides insights into the U.S. political campaign season, with a particular focus on U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen's recent visit to China.

We want to hear from you: Based on Professor Zhao's insights and analysis, how do you think the U.S. political campaign cycle, often filled with anti-China rhetoric, will impact the bilateral relationship? What are ways we can solve this issue?

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About Focus This Week

Prepared by China-US Focus editorial teams in Hong Kong and New York, this weekly newsletter offers you snap shots of latest trends and developments emerging from China and the U.S. every week. It is a community space to exchange thoughts and ideas about the China-U.S. relationship and beyond.

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