"A large majority of Chinese students [are] coming to study in the U.S. not for political reasons," says Yingyi Ma, associate professor of sociology. "What they really want is quality education opportunities, so that they can improve their career prospects, or they can broaden their horizons and really enjoy being in the process of cultivating their global citizenship."
"[National security] definitions are a game that all governments play. Pay attention instead to how governments treat their citizens," says William C. Banks, professor emeritus of public administration and international affairs.
Those of an older generation, whether in China or the U.S., generally prefer to circumvent discussion of politics and socioeconomic issues, says Yingyi Ma, associate professor of sociology. "They have memories of the Cultural Revolution and they understand how divisive and how difficult it was and how much destruction it caused," she says.
"The priority the two sides are placing on the deal is not so much a way to repair damage as it is to not cause further damage," says Professor of Economics Mary Lovely. "If the U.S. announces the deal is dead, Trump is locked into some kind of retaliation."
A tariff rollback to encourage cooperation with China "would make sense, but I don't think it will work if the framework is, we're suspending them till January, while we try to get [the two economies stabilised], and then we're going to put them back in again," says University Professor James Steinberg.