The US-China relations are one of the defining international relations in the 21st century. While the world seems to be increasingly polarised around these two poles, how do the current tensions between these two super powers affect the flows of talents which are the key to long-term economic growth and social prosperity? Dr Zheng Wang has recently published an article with his coauthors Li Tang (Fudan University), Cao Cong (University of Nottingham), and Zhuo Zhou (Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences) to add to this important discussion.

In this opinion piece, they put the US-China science and education in a historical perspective and describe the win–win situation when both countries collaborated. They then discuss an ongoing loss–loss scenario of the decoupling and speculate its far-reaching adverse impacts beyond bilateral territories. This paper calls for actions to be taken for a brighter future by the leaderships in both countries.

This paper is part of Dr Zheng Wang‘s recent research on the patterns and determinants of global talent flows. The paper is published in Science and Public Policy, and is available at: