Category: Commentaries

Chinese Americans and China: A Fraught and Complicated Relationship by Gordon H. Chang

“January 1, 1979 for many Chinese Americans (those of Chinese ancestry who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents) was a joyous moment. They enthusiastically welcomed the normalization of relations between the United States and the People’s Republic of China as it ended the politically charged and long-hostile relationship between the two countries: one, their land of ancestry — no matter that for some it was four or five generations past — and the other, their land of nationality for themselves and their families for now and the future. Few saw the moment as validating the politics of either the PRC or the U.S. – politics per se was not the reason for celebration. A major step toward full social and cultural acceptance in American life was the reason for Chinese American hopefulness.” From Chinese Americans and China: A Fraught and Complicated Relationship by Gordon H. Chang, Olive H. Palmer Professor, Stanford University. Written for the Carter Center’s symposium to commemorate President Carter’s 1979 decision to normalize relations with China. View or download the paper...

Read More

The Taiwan Issue and the Normalization of U.S.-China Relations by Richard Bush and Shelley Rigger

“After 1949, there were many obstacles to normalization of relations between the United States and the new People’s Republic of China (PRC), but Taiwan was no doubt a key obstacle. The Kuomintang-led Republic of China (ROC) government and armies had retreated there. Washington maintained diplomatic relations with the ROC government and, in 1954-55, acceded to Chiang Kai-shek’s entreaties for a mutual defense treaty. After June 1950 with the outbreak of the Korean conflict, the United States took the position that the status of the island of Taiwan— whether it was part of the sovereign territory of China—was “yet to be determined.” More broadly, PRC leaders regarded the United States as a threat to their regime, particularly because of its support for the ROC, and American leaders viewed China as a threat to peace and stability in East Asia and to Taiwan, which they saw as an ally in the containment of Asian communism in general and China in particular. It was from Taiwan’s Ching Chuan Kang (CCK) airbase, for example, that U.S. B-52s flew bombing missions over North Vietnam.” From The Taiwan Issue and the Normalization of U.S.-China Relations by Richard Bush, Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution and the Michael H. Armacost Chair and Chen-Fu and Cecilia Yen Koo Chair in Taiwan Studies in the Center for East Asia Policy Studies (CEAP), and Shelley Rigger, Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy Research Institute’s Asia Program and...

Read More

U.S.-China Relations: The Education Factor by Mary Brown Bullock

“Education relations have long been viewed as deepening and stabilizing U.S. – China relations. Today’s extensive ties have been made possible by historic and cultural traditions, high level political support from both governments, and the globalization of both Chinese and American universities. Recently, however, critics of the relationship have come to the fore. Articles titled “The Failure of American Universities in China,” “China’s Pernicious Presence on American Campuses,” or “Chinese Power ‘may lead to global academic censorship crisis’” are just a few examples.” From U.S.-China Relations: The Education Factor by Mary Brown Bullock, former Executive Vice Chancellor of Duke Kunshan University and former President of Agnes Scott College. Written for the Carter Center’s symposium to commemorate President Carter’s 1979 decision to normalize relations with China. View or download the...

Read More

Protest in Hong Kong and its Consequences

By Cindy Cheng What happened? In February 2018, a pregnant 20-year-old woman Poon Hiu-wing from Hong Kong was killed by her boyfriend Chan Tong-kai during a trip to Taiwan. The suspect, Chan Tong-kai, then 19, flew back to Hong Kong and has since been detained. Since then, the Hong Kong government has used Chan’s case to push for an amendment to extradition laws (The Fugitive Offenders and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Legislation (Amendment) Bill 2019), which would allow for case-by-case transfers to jurisdictions beyond Hong Kong where the crime was committed without asking Hong Kong’s legislature, the...

Read More

A Relationship Under Extreme Duress: U.S.-China Relations at a Crossroads by Michael D. Swaine

“The U.S.-China relationship is confronting its most daunting challenge in the forty years since the two countries established diplomatic ties. Current trends portend steadily worsening relations over the long term, with increasingly adverse consequences for all actors involved. Specifically, Beijing and Washington are transitioning from a sometimes contentious yet mutually beneficial relationship to an increasingly antagonistic, mutually destructive set of interactions. The often positive and optimistic forces, interests, and beliefs that sustained bilateral ties for decades are giving way to undue pessimism, hostility, and a zero-sum mindset in almost every area of engagement.” From A Relationship Under Extreme Duress:...

Read More

Trump Timeline

Stay up to date with the timeline of Trump and the Trump Administration’s China Policies.

SR: The Week’s China Reads

Robert A. Kapp Bio picture

Every week, China Program’s Senior Advisor Dr. Robert A. Kapp compiles a reading list and provides commentary, for you to better understand China.

Robert A. Kapp is senior advisor to the China Program at the Carter Center. He has been principal of Robert A. Kapp and Associates, a business consulting firm, since 2004. From 1994 through 2004 he served as President of the United States-China Business Council…