Decisions Memo

            Of the options mentioned in the previous post, I believe the priority should be to focus on building trust between the United States and China and restoring a healthy relationship between the two superpowers. While fundamentally different, and a potential rival, there is merit to keeping a healthy relationship between rivals, to keep things from degrading into serious conflict. As the saying goes “keep your friends close and your enemies closer”. This can be achieved through a number of more specific actions that would mutually benefit both countries. Including other Asian countries in such a coalition could also be beneficial to help cement other partners and allies of the United States in Asia beyond China, particularly with regard to trade.

            There are several different issues the United States and China could mutually work on to build trust between them. There is a great deal of debris currently in low-earth orbit (Roemer, 2019), travelling at potentially devastating speeds if it were ever to strike a large population center. The more satellites, shuttles, and telescopes that are launched into space as humanity continues to explore the stars the more the danger presented by errant space debris will grow. The United States and China may have significant differences, but a falling satellite will not discriminate between one nation or another. A piece of moderately sized space debris travelling at terminal velocity, hitting a population center like Beijing or New York City could be devastating. The U.S. and China (potentially along with other nations) could pool resources and minds together and work toward safely clearing some of the debris cluttering low-earth orbit. Such a mutual effort that benefits both countries tremendously could go a long way in helping establish a reasonably good, long-term relationship to keep mistrust between the two nations from continuing to grow to the point of disaster.

            Another, very relevant way (currently) to help build trust between the two nations would be to work more closely with one another regarding the COVID pandemic currently raging. Now, this may sound like wishful thinking, but China was the first nation to be struck by the virus, and the United States has been hit the worse (although it is entirely possible China is not being honest about their numbers, something else that should be addressed). With those two things in mind, it only makes sense that they work together to discover new information about the virus, how to treat it, and how to prevent it via a vaccine. Unfortunately, mutual mistrust (which can be laid at the feet of both President Trump and the Chinese government, now just one or the other) has made this difficult. The fact is, this pandemic does not care if the nation is effecting is the United States or China. It will infect and kill indiscriminately. The United States and China are two of the largest, wealthiest, most populous, and most technologically advanced nations on earth. If a policy of working together to defeat the COVID pandemic could be enacted, it could unite the two nations in a way nothing has since their mutual disdain for the Soviet Union during the Cold War.  


Roemer, T. (2019, November 22). The U.S. Trade War Has Caught Beijing’s Attention. Now Washington Needs a Longer-Term Plan. Retrieved October 20, 2020, from

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