Top aides to President Trump want to leave a lasting legacy of ruptured ties between the two powers. China’s aggression has been helping their cause.
WASHINGTON — Step by step, blow by blow, the United States and China are dismantling decades of political, economic and social engagement, setting the stage for a new era of confrontation shaped by the views of the most hawkish voices on both sides.
With President Trump trailing badly in the polls as the election nears, his national security officials have intensified their attack on China in recent weeks, targeting its officials, diplomats and executives. While the strategy has reinforced a key campaign message, some American officials, worried Mr. Trump will lose, are also trying to engineer irreversible changes, according to people familiar with the thinking.
China’s leader, Xi Jinping, has inflamed the fight, brushing aside international concern about the country’s rising authoritarianism to consolidate his own political power and to crack down on basic freedoms, from Xinjiang to Hong Kong. By doing so, he has hardened attitudes in Washington, fueling a clash that at least some in China believe could be dangerous to the country’s interests.
The combined effect could prove to be Mr. Trump’s most
consequential foreign policy legacy, even if it’s not one he has consistently
pursued: the entrenchment of a fundamental strategic and ideological
confrontation between the world’s two largest economies. 点击这里查看文章全文。