As the world anxiously watches the high power tug-of-war unfold between China and the US, the global mood appears to be sombre and its collective hope appears to be low.
In a global climate dominated by severe economic and geopolitical tension, academics from China, the US and Australia forecast that the gloom will continue for many more years.
The academics were discussing various causes, consequences and implications of the ongoing trade war at the China-US Trade War and Economic Conflict Conference. It was hosted by the ANU College of Business and Economics, the ANU Research School of Economics and the American based Peterson Institute of International Economics.
In addition to Chinese and US economists, there were senior speakers from the Reserve Bank of Australia, the department of Treasury and the Australian National University.
According to the academics, the underlining economic and systematic concerns between China and the US would have eventually emerged as a ‘crisis’, however, US President Donald Trump appears to be the catalyst to the equation.
According to Professor Bob Gregory from the ANU College of Business and Economics, who was one of the organisers, the conference was “extremely enriching and transparent” as academics discussed, argued and shared ideas on how the ongoing circumstances could be changed.
Although the future still hangs in the balance, the speakers suggested that countries such as Australia could play a pivotal role in managing the global uncertainty.
“Australia is not a small nation by any measure. It has proven to be an example to other nations in difficult economic times such as the Global Financial Crisis,” said Dr Shang-Jin Wei, a professor of Finance and Economy at Columbia University.
The conference was held in a packed auditorium in the Australian Centre on China in the World at ANU. The audience comprised of over 200 participants, including several policymakers, academics and international students.