• Considering that The US and China are the most powerful countries in the world today, it becomes important to study the equations between the two nations. The bilateral relations between both countries are complex. Tensions between the countries have again been fueled by the visit of US speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan in August 2022.

US-China Relations :

  • Bilateral relationships between the two have been complicated and complex since the formation of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in 1949. There has been time of extreme tension as well as cordial exchanges in respect to issues like Taiwan, trade, climate change and many more.
  • During the 1950 Korean war, when North Korea invaded into South Korea, China supported North Korea while US along with the UN backed South Korea.
  • The following year of 1954 saw Taiwan Strait Crisis, this led to US threatening China of a nuclear attack in 1955.
  • China argues that Taiwan was originally a Chinese province. But Taiwan do not agree with this and argues that they were never a part of China. In 1979, both the United states and China wanted to maintain good relations. So, US signed ‘one china policy‘ and recognized the People’s Republic of China (PRC) as the sole legal government of China, which means Taiwan is a part of China. Since then US is maintaining formal ties with China and unofficial relations with China.
  • In 2018, the trade war between the world’s two largest economies – US & China has started.
  • Meeting of top Biden administration officials and Chinese officials in march 2021 lead to deep disagreements between the two sides and ends without a joint statement.
  • During June 2021, US had urged NATO to declare China a security threat. China’s stated ambitions and assertive behaviour are proof of systemic challenges to the rules-based international order and to areas relevant to international security as well security.
  • After all these events, in June 2021 after pertaining tensions between US and China, both the nations have signed a joint statement during UN climate summit in Glasgow being highest emitters of greenhouse gases. Both agreed to boost cooperation on fighting climate change over the next decade and work together on increasing the use of renewable energy, development of regulatory frameworks to combat the same, and deploying technologies such as carbon capture.
  • In Feb 2022, US imposed a boycott for winter Olympics in Beijing citing human rights violations in Xinjiang, many other countries joined hand and did not sent officials for the games. China condemned the move and accused US for politicization of sports.
  • The Biden government sustained some Trump policies. It still continues tariffs on Chinese imports, the ban on certain companies is still not lifted as well as it bans the American firms to form ties with companies that have association with the Chinese Army.
  • President Biden has emphasized on competing with China through attracting investments in American Companies.
  • Tensions have again been fueled with the visit of US speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan during August 2022. China argues that the visit is against ‘one-china policy’. This visit led to China suspending U.S.-China climate talks, cut off some high-level military communication channels, and sanction Pelosi as well.
  • The Chinese military conducted fire drills that effectively encircle Taiwan and are way larger in scale than exercises conducted during the last Taiwan Strait Crisis in 1996. It also launched ballistic missiles over the island, some of which are believed to have landed in Japan’s exclusive economic zone. Chinese aircraft cross the median line between mainland China and Taiwan.


With continuous tension between the two nations, the situation is far from being cooled and and the two countries are very unlikely to coordinate in upcoming years. The only solution that seem rational is to forgo the areas of conflict and have formal talks to discuss areas of mutual interest constructively.

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Photo by Karolina Grabowska

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1 Comment

  • Gaurav Yadav, Oct 15, 2022 @ 9:55 pm Reply

    in the fifth paragraph, it should be like this, the US is maintaining formal ties with china and unofficial ties with Taiwan.

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