China Seminar | 8 November 2018

China and U.S. Relations in Trouble?: Comments on Issues, Dangers, Prospects, and Possibilities

James A. Kelly James A. Kelly

When China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi – in a recent public meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo – demands that U.S. officials stop “wrong actions and words”– attention must be paid. That same week, Vice President Mike Pence in a formal policy speech, indicted China for a vast series of misdeeds, including interference in American domestic matters. Observers around the world are concerned despite a seeming cordial working relationship between Presidents Xi and Trump. Even so, there are doubts as to whether a long expected meeting of the two leaders will occur in November. The situation is clearly serious and the future uncertain. But Mr. Kelly will attempt to brief the various issues and to suggest possible paths that may be taken. Despite language that some see as threatening a new Cold War, there are alternate paths. But the Sino-U.S. relationship, never easy, has become even more complex and challenging to both sides. As a frequent speaker and writer about economic and political issues of East Asia and the Pacific, James Kelly has been a think tank head and businessman. Before retiring, he was the Assistant Secretary of State (East Asian and Pacific Affairs) from 2001-2005, under President Reagan (1983-1989) as Special Assistant for East Asia (NSC Staff), and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense. Mr. Kelly was past President (1994-2001) of the Pacific Forum, CSIS, and is the current President of EAP Associates, LLC and a Trustee of The Asia Foundation. He is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, National War College and Harvard Business School (MBA), and retired in 1982 as a Captain in the U.S. Navy. He is now on the Advisory Board of Marvin & Palmer, Inc. an equity management firm and lives in Honolulu with his wife, Sue.