On February 25, 2021, CISS and Stimson Center jointly held a virtual seminar themed “China-US Relations in Biden's First Month”. Those in attendance include CISS Senior Fellow Da Wei, Adjunct Fellow An Gang, Zhao Minghao and Li Chen, and Sun Yun, Co-Director of the East Asia Program at Stimson Center, as well as six American scholars from other major think tanks and universities in Washington.
Reviewing China-US interaction since Biden was sworn in, the participants analyzed the signals sent by leaders of both countries through their public addresses and policies. They assessed the effectiveness of China-US communication over the past month, and discussed various issues including the Biden administration’s positioning of China-US relations, policy priorities toward China, and the new framework for the bilateral ties.
Discussants concurred that Biden has amplified professionalism and internationalism in diplomacy since taking office. As its relationship with China begins the process of healing, the Biden administration is facing multiple challenges at home and abroad, which may mean a longer time till its China policy finally takes shape. The differences in strategic culture and domestic politics between China and America could also induce divergence or signal twists and turns to their relationship. That said, there is still an overlap between their fundamental expectations for the bilateral ties, and both sides are willing to initiate a pragmatic dialogue. It is necessary for China and the US to enhance mutual understanding and remain patient in order to stabilize their near-term relationship while envisioning a long-term framework for it.
Based in Washington, D.C., the Stimson Center is a leading think tank on international security. From this year, CISS and the Stimson Center will jointly organize a series of virtual dialogues to facilitate small-scale and in-depth discussions between Chinese and US experts on China-US relations and important developments in international strategic security.