U.S. President Joe Biden meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

A common understanding of why U.S.-China relations have cratered since the 2016 election of former President Donald Trump is that the world’s two largest economies had gone from being complementary to being increasingly competitive and zero-sum. But even in this economic relationship, there are still ways to find common ground.

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Recent setbacks for two major Chinese projects in Latin America are likely music to U.S. policymakers’ ears and could point to the quiet diplomacy of the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden paying off in key areas of concern. How Beijing reacts to these setbacks will shape its future relations with Latin America.

U.S. President Joe Biden, Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio.

U.S. President Joe Biden hosted the leaders of Japan and the Philippines yesterday, in a meeting centered on shared security interests with an eye toward China’s increasing regional and global influence. This narrow focus, however, highlights the lack of seriousness paid to the escalating crisis in Myanmar.

Vietnam General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong.

The leaders of Vietnam, a one-party, opaque, and authoritarian state, usually try to present themselves as working closely together, free of discord and united on all fronts. The current reality is far different. Behind the opaque façade, Vietnam’s leadership is now apparently both corrupt and intensely fractious.

Yangshan deep water port in Shanghai.

The consequences of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s intention to double down on China’s manufacturing prowess to boost growth has attracted a lot of discourse. But it’s important to understand that excess capacity has a political logic within the Chinese system that is fundamental to the country’s governance model.