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China from a U.S. Policy Perspective

Road to the White House: Politics, Media and Techonology

Eric Heikkila and other USC panelists address the many China-related issues which may factor into U.S. policy deliberations and election-year rhetoric.

The futures of China and the United States are increasingly interlinked. From an economic perspective, U.S. deficits are funded in large part through loans from China. Those loans in turn are funded through China’s accumulated trade surpluses, which are vivid reminders of a declining U.S. economic stature, at least in relative terms. Controversy swirls over the extent to which an undervalued Chinese currency is the root cause of such imbalances in trade and financial flows. From a geopolitical perspective, China is emerging as a rival for U.S. power and influence, both in the Asia Pacific region and well beyond. This is reflected in military terms, as well as in a broader competition to secure energy resources and to exert political influence and other forms of soft power. These two largest national economies are also the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions, and so even the earth’s biosphere is impacted by the extent to which China and the U.S. can jointly exercise responsible environmental stewardship. Meanwhile, students, tourists, business entrepreneurs and NGOs continue to forge relationships with their counterparts directly, without specific reference to state-to-state relations. Moreover, these phenomena are all intertwined, as scarce resources, economic dislocation, political considerations and social interactions all feed back upon each other.


  • Dan Mazmanian, director of the Bedrosian Center


  • Eric Heikkila, professor at the USC Price School
  • Joshua Harris, Master of Public Administration candidate at the USC Price School
  • Caroline Kim, Master of Public Administration candidate at the USC Price School
  • Luyang Liu, Master of Arts (Economics) candidate at the USC Dornsife College