Why cultural decoupling from China and barring Chinese students will hurt the US more

Why cultural decoupling from China and barring Chinese students will hurt the US more

  • Instead of advancing US objectives by promoting American values, the Trump administration is playing into the hands of Beijing
  • The US will miss out on contributions from Chinese students and China will benefit from the reverse brain drain

Decoupling is central to the geopolitical duel between the United States and China. Conceived and promoted by hawks in US President Donald Trump’s administration, this strategy has now become America’s principal tool to weaken Chinese power. 

The first act of decoupling – the US-China trade war that began in 2018 – has substantially reduced bilateral trade. A similar process is now in full swing in the technology sector, with the US pursuing an unrelenting campaign against Chinese tech giants such as Huawei and ByteDance (the owner of the popular video app TikTok).

With the Trump administration threatening to have Chinese firms delisted from US stock exchanges if they fail to give US auditors access to their audit records in China, financial decoupling has begun as well.