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and now the hard part
and now the hard part

And Now the Hard Part

Fixing the U.S. Relationship With China


A Chinese worker at a port in Qingdao, China.
A Chinese worker at a port in Qingdao, China.
A Chinese worker waits as a cargo ship is loaded at a port in Qingdao, in eastern China's Shandong province, on July 13, 2017. STR/AFP/Getty Images

Brookings scholar Ryan Hass on what’s driving America’s new cold war and what to do about it.

Relations between the United States and China have reached their lowest point since ties were first established 40 years ago, with the two countries sparring over trade, technology, and Beijing’s military action in the South and East China Seas. U.S. President Donald Trump’s policies have brought the tensions to a head—but the problems predate his term in office.

This week on And Now the Hard Part, we trace the roots of the crisis and talk about how to fix it.

“Areas of cooperation have essentially evaporated, channels of communication between Washington and Beijing have largely atrophied below the presidential level, and areas of competition have intensified,” says Ryan Hass, a fellow at the Brookings Institution and our guest this week.

“It’s costly, it’s dangerous, and it’s self-isolating.”

Listen to the episode on this page or subscribe and download wherever you get your podcasts.

About And Now the Hard Part:  The world is a particularly confusing and daunting place these days: Russian bots, North Korean nukes, trade wars and climate emergencies. To understand it better, Foreign Policy and the Brookings Institution are teaming up for an 8-part podcast series. On each episode, host Jonathan Tepperman and a guest from Brookings discuss one of the world’s most vexing problems and trace its origins. And then, the hard part: Tepperman asks the guest to focus on plausible, actionable ways forward. Jonathan Tepperman, Foreign Policy’s editor in chief, hosts the podcast. The guests are some of the smartest and most experienced analysts around—all scholars from the Brookings Institution, including former government and intelligence officials.  See All Episodes


More And Now the Hard Part episodes:

How to Reverse the Global Drift Toward Authoritarianism

Brookings President John Allen on why autocrats are rising and what to do about it.

How to Boost the Economies of Africa

Brookings scholar Landry Signé on why the continent underperforms when it comes to trade and what can be done about it.

How to Manage North Korea

Brookings senior fellow Jung H. Pak on why the United States has failed to prevent North Korea from developing nuclear weapons and what to do about it.

Other Foreign Policy podcasts:


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To learn more about creating a podcast with us, contact Andrew Sollinger at

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