Recreating China’s Imagined Empire

June 20, 2017 By Ian Johnson, China File

China’s influence in the world has become a persistent theme of these early days of the Donald Trump era. During his campaign, Trump portrayed China (not entirely incorrectly) as the leading malefactor in the politics of international trade—holding its currency down in order to pump out exports, while making it hard for foreign companies to enter its own vast market. Then, after his victory, Trump as president-elect came up with the provocative idea of accepting a congratulatory phone call from the Taiwanese president. His intent seemed to be to knock the Chinese off balance in hopes of starting trade negotiations on a more favorable footing. Predictably this angered Beijing, which believes that it should control Taiwan, the self-governing island that Western nations, in deference to China, have long excluded from full diplomatic recognition.[Source]

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