Trump is right about China
Nearly all of the U.S.’s presidents and foreign policy experts have been wrong about China, said Amy Zegart. But President Trump has gotten this one right: The U.S. and China “are locked in a competitive struggle” that may define the 21st century. In recent decades, Beijing has proved that its state-run economy is at least the equal of the West’s capitalism: “Beijing has lifted more than 850 million people out of poverty and sustained the fastest economic growth in human history.” Most experts believed that growing wealth and modernization would inevitably liberalize Chinese society. But when the Soviet Union fell and communism went into retreat, “the ‘end of history’ skipped China.” Instead of succumbing to the liberal international order, Beijing exploited it to create “unfair trade advantages for its favored domestic corporations.” China also stole so much intellectual property from the West that former National Security Agency Director Keith Alexander called it “the greatest transfer of wealth in history.” Trump’s determination to address these unfair practices “doesn’t get the praise or attention it deserves.” Forging a more realistic China policy will be difficult, but it must start with recognizing that our interests are “at odds” with theirs.