US and China: From Co-Evolution to Decoupling

Henry Kissinger secretly visited China in 1971 to restore US ties, and the Chinese have respected him since. With a trade war underway and US concerns about intellectual property theft, the relationship has soured and transformed: from co-evolution, described by Kissinger as pursuit of domestic imperatives and cooperating as possible to decoupling. “The parochial outlook in the United States and the growing nationalism in China is heading toward disengagement,” explains Vincent Ni, journalist and 2018 Yale Greenberg World Fellow. Ni describes this as disruptive and dangerous, forcing countries to choose sides. Ni urges Chinese and US leaders to develop new rules for 21st century trade, economics and technology while finding ways to cooperate and contribute to global public goods while coexisting militarily. As Kissinger suggested in his writings, a good relationship is essential for world peace and progress even as both nations pursue their own paths of exceptionalism. – YaleGlobal