November 18, 2009
The Emerging US-China Strategic Alliance on Clean Energy
by Louis Schwartz and Ryan Hodum, Contributors
Pennsylvania, United States
The bilateral relationship between the United States and China has begun to take on a more pragmatic and secure quality under the Obama Administration, a welcome contrast to the past, when the U.S. was mostly uneasy about the rise of China and China was often uncertain about assuming its emerging role as an economic and political center of gravity.
Though disagreements over the value of the Yuan, trade restrictions and human rights issues will continue to be present in the Sino-U.S. relationship, the exigencies of the worldwide economic downturn and the opportunities for cooperation in the development of a new energy future, are paving the way for a sustainable and productive bilateral relationship.
Renewable energy investments in the U.S. by the Chinese are but one side of the coin; on the other side are the enormous opportunities for American companies to participate as the Chinese spend some $2 trillion over the next 20 years to fundamentally restructure the way they produce and consume energy.
It is in this latter area — cooperation on clean energy development — that the Obama Administration already has laid a foundation that presages unprecedented opportunities for Sino-U.S. cooperation. President Obama’s meetings with the Chinese leadership this week give further impetus to the significant efforts by the two countries to forge a new energy future based on Shuang Ying the Chinese term for “win-win.”