Viewing the US with a China lens

By Jeremy Schwartz, CFA, Executive Vice President, Global Head of Research, WisdomTree

During a recent “Behind the Markets” podcast, Jeremy Schwartz and Liqian Ren spoke with Dingding Chen, professor of International Relations and associate dean of the Institute for 21st Century Silk Road Studies at Jinan University, in Guangzhou, China.

He is also the founding director of Intellisia Institute, a newly established independent think tank focused on international affairs in China. In our conversation, Chen explained how he formed his prediction on President Trump’s win from China and his experience in running a private think tank.

Chen mentioned that while both were students at the University of Chicago, he and Liqian Ren, WisdomTree’s Director of Modern Alpha, led the student organization COSA, which promotes mutual understanding of China and the U.S. through academic research. It was the initial seed that inspired him to fund his own private think tank after he returned to China to teach. The think tank name, Intellisia, is inspired by a book title from 1800s by Chinese author Wei Yuan, who wrote about Western technology, geography and history to increase Chinese understanding of the outside world.

Chen said that China and the U.S. will settle on a trade war deal in 2019 with domestic politics bolstering both leaders’ willingness to act, and he agreed that small-scale trade disputes will continue. He said that companies with substantial operations in China are still mostly assessing whether or not to diversify from China on a large scale. Ren mentioned that Chinese tax reform and how ordinary Chinese citizens welcome some aspects of a trade war have been under-reported in Western media.

Chen recently translated the Chinese edition of Graham Allison’s book Destined to War and mentioned that he had deep discussions with Graham on history and the present. He said that Graham’s next book was likely to offer ways for the U.S. and China to avoid the Thucydides trap.

Please listen to our full conversation with Dingding Chen below.

Versions of this article first appeared on the WisdomTree blog and SeekingAlpha on January 22, 2019.

Photo Credit: hans-johnson via Flickr Creative Commons

Disclosure: Certain of the information contained in this article is based upon forward-looking statements, information and opinions, including descriptions of anticipated market changes and expectations of future activity. WisdomTree believes that such statements, information, and opinions are based upon reasonable estimates and assumptions. However, forward-looking statements, information and opinions are inherently uncertain and actual events or results may differ materially from those reflected in the forward-looking statements. Therefore, undue reliance should not be placed on such forward-looking statements, information and opinions.

About the Author: Jeremy Schwartz, CFA, Director of Research, WisdomTree Asset Management is responsible for the WisdomTree equity index construction process and oversees research across the WisdomTree family. Prior to joining WisdomTree, Jeremy was Professor Jeremy Siegel’s head research assistant and helped with the research and writing of Stocks for the Long Run and The Future for Investors. He is also co-author of the Financial Analysts Journal paper “What Happened to the Original Stocks in the S&P 500?” Jeremy is a graduate of The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and currently stays involved with Wharton by hosting the Wharton Business Radio program “Behind the Markets” on SiriusXM 111.