The US and China: Competition or Cooperation?

NEW YORK, January 9, 2014 — The Sino-U.S. relationship will shape the future of global development and investment, but veteran China analysts could not agree in an Asia Society panel discussion on how the world's two largest economies might cooperate.

Elizabeth Economy, Director for Asia Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, honed in on the causes and effects of bilateral distrust and disagreement as competition for global power heats up.

"It's not simply that China wants some space but actually that it's looking to supplant the U.S.," said Economy, a contributor, with Zha Daojiong, a Peking University political scientist, to the new book Debating China: The U.S.-China Relationship in Ten Conversations.

Zha said that trade tensions arise from a lack of transparency between governments. "If the U.S. wants to be an honest broker — bring South Korea, China, and Japan to the same room and say the same thing," he said.

Nina Hachigian, co-panelist and editor of the book from the Oxford University Press, said that mutual understanding between Beijing and Washington is not enough.

"What we really need are international, regional institutions and rules that can help channel our rivalry and guide our actions," she said.

The discussion was moderated by Orville Schell, Arthur Ross Director of the Center on U.S.-China Relations at Asia Society.

Reported by Abigail Collier

Video: Highlights from the conversation (2 min., 19 sec.)

Related Links:
Watch the complete program
Shop AsiaStore for Debating China: The U.S.-China Relationship in Ten Conversations