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ICAS 2018 Annual Conference held in DC

2018-06-22 10:43:59       source:NISCSS

On June 19, 2018, the Institute for China-America Studies (ICAS) held its annual conference, “China-U.S. Relations in Year Two of Trump" in Washington D.C. This year’s conference was organized in collaboration with the National Institute for South China Sea Studies (NISCSS), the China Institute at the University of Alberta and the Center for Oceans Law and Policy at the University of Virginia. The conference consisted of four panels focusing on the overall bilateral relationship, the ongoing nuclear negotiations on the Korean Peninsula, maritime security and the looming trade war between the world’s two economic superpowers.

More than 100 participants attended the conference, including representatives from the media and scholars from premier research institutions, such as Fudan University, Wuhan University, Yale University, Virginia University, University of Pennsylvania, University of Alberta, Center for Naval Analyses, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the Carter Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Asia Development Bank and the United States Coast Guard. 

The Deputy Chief of Mission of the Chinese embassy to the United States, Li Kexin, delivered the keynote address, and the President of NISCSS, Dr. Wu Shicun, gave the opening remarks. Former U.S. Ambassador for Oceans and Fisheries, David Balton, also attended the conference and gave the luncheon speech. 

President Wu’s opening remarks highlighted that although the Sino-U.S. relationship remain strong, it faces significant challenges. Regarding the Korean Peninsula, the recent summit between Kim and Trump has in some ways put the United States and China at odds. Dr. Wu also emphasized that a series of engagements between America and Taiwan, including the opening ceremony for the American Institute in Taiwan’s new building in Taipei, have harmed the relationship and increase tensions between Taiwan and the mainland. On economics and trade, the trade war initiated by the United States can only develop into a lose-lose situation for both sides. In closing, President Wu shared his concerns that the confrontation between China and the United States in the South China Sea will intensify as both sides blame on each other for militarization of the region. 

Although Sino-U.S. relations are at a crossroads, Dr. Wu expressed hope that both sides would continue to encourage and support academic exchanges between two countries. Communication between scholars from both countries play a primary role in enhancing Sino-US relations, and ICAS has been a significant player to that end. Over the past four years, ICAS has not only brought Chinese policy perspectives to American audience and shed light on American foreign policy practices for a Chinese audience, but it has also promoted the discussion and consultation between various think tanks from both nations.