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Trump and China

Getting to Yes With Beijing

I am a rock: one of the disputed Spratly Islands, South China Sea, November 2016 TYRONE SIU / REUTERS

In recent years, China has started throwing its weight around. It has defied international law and risked violent clashes in the East China and South China Seas. It has bent trade rules by discriminating against foreign businesses to help its own. It has tried to shut out foreign influences while promoting its own propaganda abroad. And it has resisted Western demands that it put more pressure on its ally North Korea. China’s new assertiveness stems, in part, from its growing power; the country now boasts the world’s second-largest economy and its second-largest military budget. But domestic insecurities have also played a role. Slowing growth in an economy burdened by high levels of debt and accelerating capital flight have made Chinese President Xi Jinping increasingly anxious about internal threats, from popular protest to splits in the ruling Communist Party. In response, he has flexed the country’s muscles abroad

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