Tensions between the United States and China have reached such a high level that the Group of Seven, led by the U.S., recently changed its objective in its relations with China from “decoupling” to “de-risking.”

But the reality is that de-risking, like decoupling, requires the participation of both sides and a common agenda. And while the objective of de-risking may be clear, its substance is not, besides keeping communication channels open.

The first step toward a productive dialogue is to recognize that the interaction among three types of competition — trade, technology and geostrategy — is driving the spike in U.S.-China tensions. To stop this vicious cycle, these three types of competition must be decoupled, and, to the extent possible, the policy instruments applied to each segment must be kept distinct.