U.S. and China relationship takes center stage at WAC-STL forum

Dr. Joel Glassman calls on an audience member during his presentation at Great Decisions March 22.

On a day when fears of a trade war with China sent the Dow Jones Industrial Index plummeting, UM-St. Louis Associate Provost Dr. Joel Glassman described the complex relations between the U.S. and China as part of the World Affairs Council of St. Louis’ Great Decisions series March 22.

Headlined “China and America: the New Geopolitical Equation”, the presentation was focused on flashpoints such as the status of Taiwan and domination of the South China Sea, which Dr. Glassman observed could both be “resolved” if China chose to do so.  On those issues, and with North Korea, he praised the U.S. and China for “agreeing not to fight against each other.”  While the issues remain unresolved, tensions are not escalating and that’s a net positive in Dr. Glassman’s view.

Similarly, North Korea has become less of a flashpoint in recent weeks after the U.S. stopped insisting that China “resolve” the North Korean regime’s quest for nuclear weapons. “The U.S. in the last few weeks has decided China will not resolve the problem for us,” Dr. Glassman observed.

 In regard to the idea of imposing tariffs on Chinese imports to the U.S., Dr. Glassman stated “tariffs only impoverish all parties.” He further explored the potential impact on the local economy, focusing on the negative impact that proposed tariffs would have on Missouri farmers.

As a university professor, he also noted a trade war with China could have an enormous impact on higher education in the U.S. if visas are restricted, as one-third of international students at U.S. institutions are from China. Overall, the economic impact of these students is $40 billion he said.

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