Exploring China-US Dynamics: Decoupling and the Role of Scholarship
Weekly Newsletters

Exploring China-US Dynamics: Decoupling and the Role of Scholarship



3 March 2023

This week, we feature two reports published under our China-US-Asia Dialogue project and our latest edition of The Pulse.

Rukmani Gupta assesses the evolving narratives and misperceptions around the ‘economic decoupling’ rhetoric between the United States and China. And Jian Junbo draws attention to an important but often overlooked element in US-China relations: the role of scholars.

Also in a new edition of The Pulse, Tatsujiro Suzuki and Sadia Tasleem reflect on the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists’ decision to set its famous Doomsday Clock to its closest position before midnight ever. We also highlight members’ activities below.

Enduring Misperceptions:
A Critical View of China-US ‘Decoupling’

Rukmani Gupta, an independent defence analyst, assesses the evolving narratives and misperceptions around ‘economic decoupling’ between the United States and China, arguing that these can have serious consequences for the China-US relationship and for other states in the region. Gupta argues that these official narratives impact public perceptions, contributing to public opinion polls in both countries that show worsening public attitudes towards the other country in recent years.

Read the Special Report

The Constructive Role of Scholarship in the China-US Relationship

Jian Junbo, Deputy Director for China-Europe Relations at Fudan University, draws attention to an important but under-addressed element in US-China relations: the role of scholars. He highlights several challenges to scholarship in China-US relations: restrictions on scholarly interactions and exchanges, the influence of nationalism, the lack of Chinese language skills in the US, and the lack of access to information for Chinese scholars.

Read the Special Report

These two reports are a part of the APLN China-US-Asia Dialogue, a project exploring ways to improve understanding, reduce misperceptions, de-escalate risks and tensions, and build trust between China, the United States and the Asia-Pacific region.

Several reports in the China-US-Asia Dialogue project are now available in Chinese translation as well as other selected languages.

The Perception Gap and the China-US relationship – Tong Zhao

Track-2 and Track-1.5 US-China Strategic Nuclear Dialogues: Lessons Learned – David Santoro

US-Soviet Top-Down Trust-Building: Lessons for the US-China Relationship Yu Tiejun

90 Seconds to Doomsday

APLN members Sadia Tasleem, Lecturer for Defense and Strategic Studies at Quaid-i-Azam University, and Tatsujiro Suzuki, former Vice Chairman of the Japan Atomic Energy Commission, reflect on the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists’ decision to set its famous Doomsday Clock to its closest position before midnight ever.

Read The Pulse

Nuclear Armament Is a Lose-Lose-Lose for South Korea

Chung-in Moon, APLN Vice Chair, writes for The Hankyoreh and argues that a path toward acquiring nuclear weapons could jeopardize South Korea’s survival, endanger its prosperity, and damage its prestige in the international community.

Which Way China Will Swing

Shyam Saran, Former India Foreign Secretary, writes for The Tribune and points out that China may well be trying to link its restraint on supplying lethal material to Russia to American restraint on weapon supplies to Taiwan.

Ukraine and Southeast Asia: Implications One Year On

C. Raja Mohan, Senior Fellow at the Asia Society Policy Institute, talked about the implications of the war against Ukraine on Southeast Asia in a new episode of Dialogues at Fulcrum, published by the ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute. 

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons Is a Good Step Towards a Nuclear-Free World

Marianne Hanson, Associate Professor at the University of Queensland, co-wrote an article with Margaret Beavis for The Canberra Times on the two-year anniversary of the entry into force of the United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW).

Regional Voices on the 2022 China Military Power Report

Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan, Director of the Centre for Security, Strategy, and Technology, commented on China’s rising military power and its implications for India’s foreign and strategic policies in a report released by the National Bureau of Asian Research. 

Japanese Experts Seek Wartime Protection of Nuclear Facilities

As reported by NHK, Tatsujiro Suzuki, Vice Director and Professor of the Research Center for Nuclear Weapons Abolition at Nagasaki University, says Japan has a duty to speak out globally on the subject of protecting nuclear facilities in wartime in light of the country’s experience with the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.

Striking Asymmetries: Nuclear Transitions in Southern Asia

Manpreet Sethi, Distinguished Fellow of the Centre for Air Power Studies, New Delhi, reviewed a book by Ashley J. Tellis in Arms Control Today, calling Tellis’ book “an erudite, systematic presentation of vast amounts of information.”



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