The Exchange provided by the China-United States Exchange Foundation
KEY FOCUS
  • Strategic Competition and Arms Race | The recent reports of a Chinese missile test have caused an uproar in Western media, although China responded the alleged projectile was a spacecraft instead. While U.S. experts disagree on how the U.S. government should respond, their Chinese counterparts caution against an arms race.
  • Future of Sino-American Relations | U.S. Ambassador to China nominee Nicholas Burns took a hard line on China in his confirmation hearing, a day after a U.S. Senate committee agreed on an anti-China bill on maritime laws. In response, several commentators revisit the prospects of U.S. foreign policy toward China.
  • Economic Woes and Foreign Investment | The collapse of China's major property developer and the country's electricity shortages are affecting both the domestic and global economy. Uncertain whether the Chinese market will recover, some analysts predict a Chinese 'doom'; however, others remain optimistic. Moreover, Western media faces scrutiny after falsely reporting on LinkedIn's business activities in China. 
RECENT COMMENTARIES - U.S. 
The Washington PostThe U.S. doesn’t need more nuclear weapons to counter China’s new missile silos, by Edward Geist

October 18, 2021: In reaction to the alleged discovery of new Chinese missile silos, several governmental officials and other experts have called on Washington to enhance its nuclear capabilities. Edward Geist, a policy researcher at the Rand Corporation, disagrees with this rhetoric. He argues that the U.S. has sufficient nonnuclear and nuclear weapons for any type of deterrence. Not only do other alternatives exist, but much uncertainty remains regarding China's missile activities, Geist adds. Building more missiles would only threaten the strategic balance between China and the U.S. and pose a greater risk to both countries, he asserts. 
CNBCWhy the U.S.-China duo is the most significant, and potentially the most perilous, bilateral relationship in human history, by Frederick Kempe

October 16, 2021: President and CEO of the Atlantic Council Frederick Kempe depicts the China-U.S. relationship as being the “most significant” yet “most perilous” ever, an argument that Stephen Heitz, president and CEO of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, made previously. Several new issues have surfaced among the bilateral relationship, exacerbating the existing differences between China and the U.S. across their domestic and foreign policies, Kempe highlights. Whether the U.S. can alleviate tensions with China largely rests on the outcome of the upcoming Xi-Biden Summit, Kempe concludes and adds: “Whether they succeed will shape the global future.”
The New York Times, Evergrande Isn’t China’s Only Economic Worry, by Arthur Kroeber

October 20, 2021: From facing an electricity shortage to generating supply chain delays, the collapse of China's Evergrande is only one of the country's economic woes. Several analysts have held the Chinese government responsible for these crises. Arthur Kroeber, a partner and the head of research at Gavekal Dragonomics, counters this claim. He argues that Beijing's policies were necessary fixes in the "deep structural problems in the economy," and in fact, "lay more solid foundations for future growth." The combination of state guidance and market forces, Kroeber argues, will not fail. Instead, it will continue to contribute to China's economic growth in the long term. 
RECENT COMMENTARIES - CHINA
Global Times, US should stop eyeing too much on China’s hypersonic missiles and broaden its horizons, by the Editorial Board

October 17, 2021: According to a Financial Times report, the Chinese military launched a rocket carrying a "nuclear-capable hypersonic missile." This suggests that China is building its nuclear arsenal. The editorial board counters this claim, arguing that it would be futile for China to engage in an arms race with the U.S. However, they do not discount the possibility of China developing its nuclear power to "ensure that the US completely eliminates the idea of nuclear blackmail against China." Lastly, they argue that in order to maintain a strategic balance of power, both China and the U.S. should rebuild a degree of mutual trust to meet their long-term interests, nationally and globally.
CGTNU.S. return to UN Human Rights Council a mockery of its raison d'être, by Alfred de Zayas and Adriel Kasonta

October 18, 2021: On October 14, the U.S. regained a seat on the UN Human Rights Council in a vote carried out by the General Assembly. It received the second-lowest count ahead of Eritrea. Former secretary of the UN Human Rights Committee Aflred de Zayas, along with Adriel Kasonta, a London-based political risk consultant and lawyer, react to the news and criticize Washington for failing to uphold human rights principles that the U.S. constitution stands by. They worry that U.S. political leverage may jeopardize the council’s legitimacy. “With the U.S. seat in the council coming to force in 2022, we shall see whether the body will resist the pressure from Washington to be compromised at the service of its national security objectives and will remain impartial,” they write. De Zayas and Kasonta insist that the council restore its founding principles of transparency and cooperation and hold its members accountable.
Xinhua, Western media and its compulsive anti-China bias, by Ma Qian

October 18, 2021: Xinhua writer Ma Qian argues that recent U.S. commentaries on China, published by major news outlets, have raised doubts about the outlets' credibility. The most-recent coverage focuses on the alleged claim that the software company, LinkedIn, has decided to leave the Chinese market. The news backfired when the firm's vice president denied the allegation. Moreover, Ma shows that several polls surveying U.S. companies express optimistic outlooks for China's economy, contradicting Western media's portrayal of China as being a "hostile environment for overseas companies." Given how interconnected countries are around the globe, in addition to today's global challenges, it is paramount to maintain a degree of solidarity among nations through fact-oriented and unbiased reporting, Ma concludes. 
LATEST POLLS AND FIGURES
Foreign Affairs Asks Its Experts Whether U.S. Foreign Policy Toward China Is Too Hostile
 
A new poll from Foreign Affairs, surveying a group of leading foreign policy experts on China, found a lack of a majority-consensus on whether "U.S. foreign policy has become too hostile to China." The results were the following: 47 percent of participants disagreed, 38 percent agreed, and roughly 15 percent remained neutral. Although the debate did not lead to a clear-cut outcome, most participants expressed the potential for cooperation between China and the U.S. Agreeing with the claim, Alice Lyman Miller, a research fellow at the Hoover Institute at Stanford University, said:  "Washington should both compete and cooperate with China. To do that, it must first and foremost get its own house in order. It is just not anywhere close to doing that." Bonny Lin, a director and senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, disagreed with the statement but shared similar thoughts: "There are significant differences between the United States and China, but these differences should not overshadow and eliminate the potential for dialogue, coordination, and cooperation." The poll serves as continuation to a series of articles published by Foreign Affairs Magazine.
HEARD FROM THE PEDESTRIAN
Most Talked-About Topics
Selected based on the occurrence of keywords in Twitter posts concerning the China-U.S. relationship in the past week
Hypersonic Missile Development
News of China testing a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile has shocked Western audiences, despite China's denial of such claims. Users have responded on social media, criticizing the U.S. government's response and claiming that more coverage should be focused more on facts and less on rhetoric.
Supply Chain Crisis
Missouri senator Josh Hawley has introduced legislation that would reduce U.S. dependence on foreign nations, specifically China. The bill would require 50 percent of goods to be produced in the U.S. Users on social media have responded negatively, saying this would increase the overall price of consumer goods.
Top Tweet
ON THE BIG SCREEN
The new James Bond movie, No Time To Die, takes on a new geopolitical layer. As entertainment, the movie is on track to reach $400 million at the global box office. That would make it the second-greatest Hollywood movie amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the fifth-biggest 007 ever in unadjusted global grosses. The controversy among American moviegoers centers on the absence of China in the plot amid what some call the "Sino-American Cold War". Some U.S. op-eds believe this move signals a broader trend in the global film industry, reflecting soft-power dynamics between Washington and Beijing. The question remains: what role should Hollywood play in reflecting the times and its geopolitical trends?
EVENTS TO WATCH
  • October 11-24, 2021: UN Biodiversity Conference (COP15) is held in Kunming, Yunnan
  • October 22, 2021: Ministers from the Asia-Pacific trade group (APEC) meet virtually to address the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, and other regional issues.
  • October 30-31, 2021: G20 Summit in Rome
  • October 31- November 12, 2021: UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) to be held in Glasgow 
  • November 8-11 2021: The Politburo will gather in Beijing for the sixth plenary session of the 19th Central Committee
  • Fall 2021: The China-U.S. Financial Roundtable (CUFR), consisting of Wall Street figures and Chinese officials, will hold a virtual meeting to discuss ways to reinforce the financial sector and fortify bilateral relations
  • December 9-10, 2021: U.S. President Biden will host a virtual Summit for Democracy to set forth an agenda against authoritarianism, corruption, and human rights abuses. Whether Taiwan will be invited concerns stakeholders
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