Chen Gang

Assistant Director (Policy Research) and Senior Research Fellow, East Asian Institute

Dr. Chen Gang is Assistant Director and Senior Research Fellow of the East Asian Institute (EAI), National University of Singapore. Since he joined the EAI in 2007, he has been tracing China’s politics, foreign policy, environmental and energy policies and publishing extensively on these issues. He is the single author of Politics of Renewable Energy in China, The Politics of Disaster Management in China: Institutions, Interest Groups, and Social Participation, China’s Climate Policy, Politics of China's Environmental Protection: Problems and Progress, and The Kyoto Protocol and International Cooperation against Climate Change (in Chinese).

This photo taken on 26 September 2020 shows first-year students holding a Chinese flag during a commencement ceremony at Wuhan University in Wuhan, Hubei, China. (STR/AFP)

Geopolitics is the biggest threat to China-US relations, not trade or tech wars

Contrary to doomsday predictions, the US-China trade and tech relationship is actually rather sturdy. After all, it was their economic and trade complementarity that brought them finally to agree on a phase one trade deal, and against all odds, US direct investments into China grew by 6% (from a year earlier) in the first half of the year. Geopolitics and volatile brinkmanship in the name of power relations could instead be the greater threat. But between Trump and Biden, which is the lesser evil?
In this photo taken on 13 February 2020, a man walks by a deserted Los Angeles Chinatown as most stay away due to fear of the Covid-19 epidemic. (Mark Ralston/AFP)

China enters ‘pre-decoupling stage’ amid Covid-19 outbreak

Senior research fellow Chen Gang says that the Covid-19 outbreak has led the Chinese government to announce that it is facing “wartime conditions” and will be imposing a system of political, economic, social management for extreme circumstances. The world is also taking preventive measures. Such a scenario sees China entering a “pre-decoupling stage” where its resilience and self-reliance will be severely tested.