It’s evident that under Trump, US policy towards China has devolved into a singular dimension: one of extreme hostility. Any tolerance for strategic partnership and cooperation – the kind Obama favoured – is diminishing rapidly. Over 180 scholars, policy officials, and business leaders have signed an Open Letter addressed to the US President expressing worries about the growing deterioration of US relations with China. In this podcast, one of the authors, Michael Swaine, explains the content and motivations of the letter in detail. The overall sentiment is rather mild – while it does acknowledge China’s troubling domestic repression, state control over the private sector, and trade rules, it encourages a sober shift in the American mindset; China won’t overtake the US as the leading economic or military power, and playing enemies undermines the economic interests of all nations.
Why does this matter? When planning his re-election efforts in 2020, Trump will face growing waves of criticism against his extreme policy on China.
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