Western Insights: US/China Policy Directions

Sylized grahic rendering with two globe shapes - one with the United States flag, one with the Chinese flag

Wednesday, February 17, 2021
3:30 p.m. (Pacific Standard Time)




Check out this video to watch the Western Insights - US CHINA Policy Directions.

When it comes to complicated relationships there are few at the scale of the one between the US and China. China is poised to overtake the US as the world’s largest economy by the end of this decade, and is using its economic weight to increase its global influence through the Belt & Road Initiative, pressure on trading partners such as Canada and Australia, and expansion of trade deals such as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and the new EU-China investment agreement.

Intellectual property, access for foreign investors, opportunities for exporters, and a growing competition over technological leadership are all on the agenda. Where are China and the United States likely to clash on economic issues and where do they have opportunities for cooperation? How will President Biden respond to the economic challenge from China?

In this episode of Western Insights, we will shed light on the larger issues while explaining where the side shows may distract us.

This session is moderated by Ted Alden, Western’s Ross Distinguished Visiting Professor and Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations who is joined by:

  • Brinton Scott, managing partner in Winston & Strawn LLP’s Shanghai office, who has worked in China for more than two decades.
  • Shih-Fen Chen, Director of Western’s Center for International Business and the Kaiser Professor of International Business.

Western Insights is an online panel series created in response to COVID-19 to provide the broader region, Western alumni, friends, and students with access to information on current events drawing from the University’s nationally respected experts. This free series is offered entirely online and is open to everyone.

Watch previous Western Insight sessions online at https://alumni.wwu.edu/past-events.


Brinton Scott

Brinton Scott


Brinton Scott, managing partner in Winston & Strawn LLP’s Shanghai office, has worked in China for more than two decades. Before joining Winston, Brinton was the managing partner of the Shanghai office of a UK-based law firm, where he also headed the firm’s China practice.

Brinton has extensive experience in advising Fortune 500 and large private multinational corporations in various matters including: investigations (fraud, corruption, and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act); foreign direct investment; mergers and acquisitions (including merger controls); reorganizations; joint ventures; construction (Greenfield); employment; intellectual property; and technology and licensing. He has advised clients across a broad array of industry sectors including: aerospace; automotive; chemical; construction; food and beverage; insurance; medical device; pharmaceutical; publishing; media and entertainment; real estate; and retail.

Brinton was recently appointed Chairman of the Legal Committee of The American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai. He is responsible for promoting the development of the PRC’s legal systems and addressing any legislation and regulatory changes that may affect trade, commerce, industry, finance, or services in Shanghai and the PRC.

Some of Brinton’s additional activities include organizing and participating in public speaking engagements and in-house training seminars, as well as contributing to legal periodicals and other publications.

Shih-Fen Chen

Shih-Fen Chen


Shih-Fen Chen is currently the Kaiser Professor of International Business and Director of the Center for International Business at Western Washington University.

Shih-Fen was born and raised in Taiwan. After finishing his college, he worked for four years and decided to pursue an MBA at Michigan State University. With this new degree, he returned to Taiwan and continued to work in various executive capacities for over six years. In 1991, Shih-Fen quit his business job to pursue an academic career.

Shih-Fen obtained his Ph.D. in International Business from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1996. His research interests include outsourcing, licensing, and foreign direct investment. His work has been published in Journal of International Business StudiesJournal of RetailingStrategic Management Journal, among others.

Prior to moving to Western Washington University, Shih-Fen was a tenured full professor at Ivey Business School, University of Western Ontario (2006-2018). He was also on the faculty of Brandeis University (1999-2006) and Kansas State University (1997-1999). His teaching areas include Global Strategy, Global Marketing, and Global Value Chain.

Ted Alden

Ted Alden


Edward Alden is a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, D.C., and author of Failure to Adjust: How Americans Got Left Behind in the Global Economy (Rowman & Littlefield, 2017). He was the project director for the Council’s Independent Task Force report The Work Ahead: Machines, Skills and U.S. Leadership in the 21st Century (2018).  His first book, The Closing of the American Border: Terrorism, Immigration and Security Since 9/11(Harper Collins, 2008), was a finalist for the J. Anthony Lukas book prize.

He has testified to Congress numerous times, written widely for major newspapers including the New York TimesWashington Post and Wall Street Journal, and appeared on CNN, CNBC, MSNBC, Fox News, PBS News Hour and Bloomberg Surveillance. Prior to joining the Council, Mr. Alden was the Washington bureau chief for the Financial Times.

Questions and Accommodations

Contact James McCafferty for this event. Feel free to email at James.McCafferty@wwu.edu or call (360) 650-2419 if you have any questions or comments.

There will be auto-captions available for this event. To request closed captions, please mark the request on the registration form. Advance notice of three days to one week is appreciated.