A new era of Sino-US relations for university systems?

The largest and most influential university systems are those of China and the US, respectively. They have a major role to play in global peace and security. Over four decades, they became intertwined and interdependent. Their decoupling would be a race to the bottom. With Sino-US relations mired in disagreements over trade and technology, university leaders must ensure that educational and academic partnerships do not fall victim to geopolitical rivalry. In the neo-globalized world order, Sino-US relations require a strategic stabilization. A new framework is needed to capitalize on China’s civilizational emphasis on education, and the US university tradition of open debate and emancipation of the mind. Together they have a responsibility to address global threats such as pandemics, climate change, poverty, and inequality. The outgoing US administration canceled key education exchange programs, restricted scientific cooperation, and created bottlenecks in study visa approvals. The new US administration will focus on domestic issues but has an opportunity to take small but positive steps to build Sino-US university cooperation in education, technology, and health. This talk will identify what should be done to improve US-China university cooperation for mutual benefit and the global common good.