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A New Era of U.S. and China Relations

Posted on Oct 4, 2018

Since the presidential election of 2016 and the inauguration of President Donald Trump, the United States has had a bit of a shake-up in its foreign relations department. President Trump has had positive, favorable meetings with some unusual world leaders and some negative, unfavorable meetings with some of the United States’ most well-known allies. Whether this “new norm” is for better or worse, one thing remains certain: There are some countries with which the United States simply must maintain a good relationship. One of the most important of these countries is China.

Since the introduction of several economic reforms beginning in 1978, China has become one of the world’s fastest growing economies, and in 2016, it became the world’s second largest economy, second only to the United States. In September 2015, China surpassed Canada as the United States’ biggest trading partner for outside goods, and the majority of that is in Chinese imports to the United States. As of August 2018, the United States imported over 47,863 million dollars’ worth of Chinese goods. Any shake-up with our US-Chinese trade relations would be absolutely devastating to the United States economy.

Another reason the United States has for maintaining a good relationship with China is one that many people do not consider – the conservation of natural resources. CUSEF anounced recently, China has become the Green Energy Superpower. A 2016 article in the World Economic Forum shows that China makes up a quarter of the world’s capacity for renewable power. China also leads the globe in its use of wind and solar power, and it is the world’s biggest investor in renewable energy. With the United States’ population ever growing and using up more of the world’s natural resources, the government must start looking to new sources of energy. China can be a huge help in that endeavor.

Finally, the United States and China must maintain a good, healthy relationship for the safety of the citizens of both countries. Since 1978 when Deng Xiaoping began instituting numerous “study abroad” programs for Chinese students and scholars, China has become the largest overall supplier of international students to outside countries. In 2001, when China entered the World Trade Organization, it also opened its metaphorical doors to allow students from other countries into China as well. It quickly became one of the top 10 destinations for American students studying abroad.

Some of the greatest minds in American universities come from China, and the United States sends some of its best and brightest to study in China, as well. A good relationship between these two countries helps keep both its citizens safe and secure in the knowledge that they can continue to study abroad with peaceful allies. I, myself, along with ten of my students went to China as part of a cultural exchange program last summer, and it was one of the most amazing, life-changing experiences of my life. Our two countries must maintain a healthy, peaceful relationship in order for more students to have the chance that I, myself, enjoyed.