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The Last Half Century of America’s Relationship with China


Published April 14, 2022

Elizabeth Economy takes us through a recent history of America’s relationship with China. The United States has reconfigured its foreign policy as a result of changes within China: these include movement toward a model of authoritarian rule, the reassertion of the Chinese Communist party into the daily lives of Chinese citizens, a strict regulatory environment, and an ambitious and expansive Chinese foreign policy.

Discussion Questions:

  1. How have shifts in China triggered changes in US foreign policy?
  2. When it comes to China, how do the foreign policy strategies of Obama, Trump, and Biden compare? What are their weaknesses? What are their strengths?

Additional resources:

  • Watch “Elizabeth Economy Details Shifts in Chinese Domestic and Foreign Policy” on PolicyEd. Available here.
  • Watch “America’s New Great-Power Competition with China,” with Elizabeth Economy. Available here.
  • Watch “The China Model: Not One to Emulate” on PolicyEd. Available here.