Prof Ann Lee: The Road to War with China

Prof Ann Lee

Prof Ann Lee thinks that it would be a mistake for America to adopt a cold-war posture toward China. She shared her insights in her new article published in Project Syndicate.

American foreign-policy elites increasingly demonize China as a totalitarian state that threatens to overturn the US-led world order. This approach risks damaging the global economy by curtailing trade and fueling intense military competition.

Over the past two years, American foreign-policy elites have increasingly cast China not only as a competitor to the United States, but as an enemy on a par with the Soviet Union. Although anti-Chinese rhetoric in the US is not new, President Donald Trump’s administration has greatly sharpened and amplified it. This is despite the deep economic ties between the two countries, a multitude of scientific and educational collaborations, and China’s consistent policy of non-intervention in US affairs.

It would be a huge mistake for America to adopt a cold-war posture toward China. Such a policy would damage the global economy by curtailing trade and fueling intense military competition, which in turn would raise the specter of the “Thucydides Trap” of war with a rising China. And hostility between the two powers would imperil the global cooperation needed to address shared problems such as climate change.

A new paradigm for international relations is needed to avoid this outcome. Today, US policy operates on the principle that America has no permanent friends, only permanent interests. Fair enough. But unless US policymakers decide that helping the world to achieve common goals such as sustainable development is a permanent American interest, their outlook will court disaster.

Read more about ithere.

Ann Lee

Prof Ann Lee is an internationally recognized authority on China’s economic relations and the CEO of Coterie, a new technology investment consortium. She is also a former visiting professor at Peking University and currently an adjunct professor at New York University where she teaches macroeconomics and financial derivatives. She consults with policymakers from Europe, Asia, Latin America, and the U.S. about U.S.-China relations, international finance and trade, and China’s political economy.

In addition to numerous television and radio appearances, Prof Lee’s op-eds have appeared in major publications in the United States and Asia.

A former investment banker in high yield bonds and technology stocks, as well as a partner and credit derivatives trader in two multi-billion dollar hedge fund firms, she is also the author of the book What the U.S. Can Learn from China, an award winning international bestseller. She is an active member of the Authors Guild and the Pen America Society.

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