Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing, October 2019
Thomas Peter / Reuters

In a series of speeches this summer, senior officials in the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump have cast the United States and China as antagonists in a new Cold War. Speaking to the Arizona Commerce Authority in June, U.S. National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien compared Chinese President Xi Jinping directly to the Soviet dictator in power when the actual Cold War began: “Let us be clear, the Chinese Communist Party is a Marxist-Leninist organization. The Party General Secretary Xi Jinping sees himself as Josef Stalin’s successor.”

A month later in California, U.S. Secretary of

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