Trade has been a key instrument behind China’s rapid economic growth. Taking advantage of rapidly increasing global and regional production networks, China has become the major trading partner of virtually every other country within East Asia. Equally important, China’s trade strategy has married China’s combination of high savings levels plus low cost exports with America’s low savings rates and high consumption levels. As well, China has been a major funder of U.S. debt levels. To date the result has been a win-win for both countries. The election of Donald Trump threatens to upend China’s trade strategy, most fundamentally by branding China a currency manipulator and by threatening to impose massive tariffs on U.S. imports from China. Trump has also pulled out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) despite six years of complex negotiations and in defiance of the wishes of its other eleven member states. All are convinced of the importance of TPP as a bridge linking the Asia-Pacific and as a counterbalance to Chinese economic influence in East Asia. Professor Pempel will examine these complex interrelations with particular attention to the broad role hitherto played by economic cooperation in reducing security tensions within East Asia and across the Asia-Pacific.
T.J. Pempel (Ph.D., Columbia) is Jack M. Forcey Professor of Political Science in U.C. Berkeley's Department of Political Science which he joined in July 2001. Just prior to coming to Berkeley, he was at the University of Washington in Seattle where he was the Boeing Professor of International Studies in the Jackson School of International Studies and an adjunct professor in Political Science. Professor Pempel's research and teaching focus on comparative politics, political economy, contemporary Japan, and Asian regional ties. His recent books include Remapping East Asia: The Construction of a Region; Regime Shift: Comparative Dynamics of the Japanese Political Economy (both by Cornell University Press); Security Cooperation in Northeast Asia and The Economic-Security Nexus in Northeast Asia (both by Routledge). In 2015, he co-edited a book entitled Two Crises; Different Outcomes (Cornell University Press) which analyzes the negative Asian experience in the 1997-98 crisis and the positive outcome in 2008-09. In addition, he has published over one hundred twenty scholarly articles and chapters in books. Professor Pempel is on the editorial boards of a dozen professional journals, and serves on various committees of the American Political Science Association, the Association for Asian Studies, and the International Studies Association Council. He is a presidentially-appointed Commissioner on the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission and is active in the Northeast Asian Cooperation Dialogue. His current research involves Asian adjustments to the rise in global finance and the decline in security bipolarity.
This event is part of the winter colloquia series entitled "China: Going Global" sponsored by Shorenstein APARC's China Program.
China: Going Global
Beijing’s new Silk Road initiative links old trade corridors from Asia to Africa and Europe. Many perceive that President Xi Jinping’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative as well as China’s many other trade, investment and finance projects transcend their economic calculus and reflect Beijing’s geopolitical ambitions to reposition China’s standing on the global stage. The China Program brings leading experts to explore the drivers and motivators of China’s international initiatives, their reach and scope as well as the implications of China’s increasing activism on the world stage.