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(2021) A New Positive List for China-US Cooperation

Despite the immense differences and disagreements between China and the US in recent years, there is hope that the long list of shared global challenges can help give rise to greater cooperation between both sides. The two countries are now so closely entwined in the global system that they have no choice but to work together and cooperate. As Harvard University Professor Graham Allison described, the US and China have begun to resemble something akin to Siamese twins – they are condemned to coexist because the only alternative is to self-destruct.

The concept of mutually assured destruction – used to describe the ultimate outcome of nuclear war between the US and USSR during the height of the Cold War – now exists on multiple fronts in the US-China relationship. As the world's two biggest polluters and emitters of greenhouse gases, any global progress made towards combatting the devastating effects of climate change must require the US and China to come together and set standards for the rest of the world to follow. With the US having rejoined the Paris Agreement and climate change being a priority issue for the new Biden government, there is now greater hope among all the speakers for renewed cooperation in thiscritical area.

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