Bush China Foundation Brief: Generational perspectives in U.S.-China relations

March 2023

by: Zoe Leung and Zichong Ye

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Over the past few years, U.S.-China tensions have been increasingly framed as great power competition, which has become a fixture in the international environment. However, this framing fails to advance a deeper and more nuanced understanding of various perspectives on critical issues impacting the relationship. With the future of U.S.-China relations increasingly uncertain, it is crucial to infuse new viewpoints and solutions into the conversation to address not only the challenges we face today but also in the years to come.

To that end, the George H. W. Bush Foundation for U.S.-China Relations (Bush China Foundation) launched the U.S.-China XGen (cross-generational) Initiative to broaden the discourse and to identify generational perception differences. The project engages Americans and Chinese of varying ages and brings members of “Generation Z”—those between ages 18 and 25—into dialogue on an equal footing. As part of the initiative, the Bush China Foundation convened last month five virtual focus groups featuring the perspectives of American and Chinese GenZers, which are highlighted in this report.