Previewing Trump’s Asia Trip and China Visit

Kevin Rudd on Bloomberg

On November 02, 2017, Asia Society Policy Institute (ASPI) President Kevin Rudd spoke with Bloomberg's David Gura and Julie Hyman about the newly launched China Dashboard website, China’s calculus during President Donald Trump’s upcoming trip to Beijing, and the United States’ missteps in the region.

With “China’s economic reform blueprint” aiming to “create a new economic model for the future,” Rudd explains that The China Dashboard, ASPI’s project in partnership with the Rhodium Group, is analyzing China’s “financial system reform, fiscal reform, land reform, environment reform, SOE reform, [and] competition policy reform.” The Dashboard will “track whether this reform blueprint is actually heading in the right direction or not,” or if it is going “against China’s own standards [and] data.”

Rudd states that China will approach the U.S.-Beijing summit with two priorities, “the economy, trade/investment box” and “the North Korea problem box.” China carefully aimed to work on “bilateral trade concessions [that would be] acceptable to the Americans.” Furthermore, in relation to North Korea, Rudd says that he would “not be surprised if there was some modest progress” given that there has been “signaling between the Chinese and the two Koreas.” In particular, the Chinese took a step towards “normalizing their economic relationship with South Korea” and an “exchange of telegrams between Kim Jong Un and Xi Jinping” suggests that perhaps “new lines of political dialogue have opened up.”

Rudd concludes by pointing to two issues that could vex countries in the region about the United States. First, Rudd notes that the U.S. pulling out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership “causes [those] in the open trading business and open economy business to scratch their head[s].” Also, skipping this year’s East Asia Summit, a critical security forum that “brings together 18 key heads of government,” would be “shortsighted” as it gives the impression that the United States is not “structurally engaged” with the region’s future. (6 min., 56 sec.)

Watch the interview on Bloomberg. 

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