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How the Next President Should Deal With China


As China’s status on the global stage rises, many American politicians and pundits are questioning the long-standing belief that U.S. engagement with China would further American interests. Does America need to re-evaluate its policy toward China? Jeff Bader, former Obama Administration National Security Council Senior Director for Asia, responds.

In a conversation co-sponsored with the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics and Harris School of Public Policy, the two top Asia advisors to the last two Presidents—Jeff Bader (Obama) and Dennis Wilder (George W. Bush)—share their unique perspectives on the state of U.S.-China relations and how the next administration should work with China. Watch these videos of the conversation, moderated by Paulson Institute Vice Chairman Evan Feigenbaum:

How a Rising China has Unsettled Washington

Globalization has revolutionized the world economic system, and many Americans now are questioning the merits of free trade. Simultaneously, a more powerful China has sought a larger voice in global rulemaking, vexing U.S. policymakers. Wilder explains the complex challenges facing the next U.S. president.

Lessons Learned from US-China Negotiations: Cybersecurity, Iran, and Climate Change

A veteran of U.S.-China negotiations, Bader shares the necessary components for successfully negotiating with China. Sharing stories from his time building consensus with China as a member of the Obama administration, Bader outlines how he forged agreements on cybersecurity, Iran’s nuclear capacity, and climate change.

The One Thing Holding Back American China Policy

In order to build consensus with China, American leaders should follow Hank Paulson’s example, says Wilder, and work to develop strong relationships with China’s decision makers. Imparting advice to the upcoming administration, Wilder outlines what he calls the one thing holding back American China policy.

How President Bush Kept Cross-Strait Relations From Boiling Over

Speaking from his experience as President Bush’s top China advisor, Wilder explains how Bush kept things in check between Beijing and Taiwan leader Chen Shui-bian. Wilder draws conclusions for the next U.S. administration’s approach toward China.

What U.S. Policymakers Don’t Understand About China

What should the next president know about China before taking office? The Chinese political system can be more complex and nuanced than most Americans believe, explain Wilder and Bader.

China’s Biggest Misunderstanding About the U.S.

Despite decades of political, economic, and cultural exchange between the two countries, many Chinese leaders continue to believe incorrectly that the United States wants China to fail, argues Wilder.

Topics: US-China Relations