Paul Haenle is the director of the Carnegie–Tsinghua Center based at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. In addition to running the Carnegie–Tsinghua Center, Haenle is also an adjunct professor at Tsinghua, where he teaches undergraduate and graduate-level courses to Chinese and international students on international relations and global governance. Prior to joining Carnegie, he served from June 2007 to June 2009 as the director for China, Taiwan, and Mongolian Affairs on the National Security Council staffs of former president George W. Bush and President Barack Obama. From June 2007 to January 2009, Haenle also played a key role as the White House representative to the U.S. negotiating team at the six-party-talks nuclear negotiations. From May 2004 to June 2007, he served as the executive assistant to the U.S. national security adviser. Trained as a China foreign area officer in the U.S. Army, Haenle has been assigned twice to the U.S. embassy in Beijing, served as a U.S. Army company commander during a two-year tour to the Republic of Korea, and worked in the Pentagon as an adviser on China, Taiwan, and Mongolia Affairs on the staff of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Early assignments in the U.S. Army included postings in Germany, Desert Storm, Korea, and Kuwait. He retired from the U.S. Army as a lieutenant colonel in October 2009.
Haenle also serves on YCW’s Board of Advisors.
Chinese President Xi Jinping’s first state visit to the United States comes at a complicated time for the U.S.-China relationship. Despite efforts to deepen cooperation on common global challenges and manage areas of friction, the competitive nature of the bilateral relationship has come to the fore in recent months. Disagreements over cyber and the South China Sea, coupled with uncertainty about the Chinese economic and political trajectory, have contributed to a souring of American public opinion about relations with China and a debate among American scholars over China policy. The state visit will provide an important opportunity for U.S. and Chinese leaders to exchange views on key strategic issues and highlight the cooperative areas of the relationship ahead of the U.S. 2016 presidential campaign season. Paul Haenle discussed current dynamics in the U.S.-China relations, his reflections on President Xi’s state visit to the U.S., and his outlook on the way forward for the relationship.