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Biden and China

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Presidents who came just before Donald Trump took a rather optimistic view of China. Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, and the two George Bushes have all attempted to integrate China into the global economy and political system. According to them, this could persuade China to accept international rules and become more democratic.

The strategy has largely failed.

China has used access to global markets to enrich itself on its own terms. He has rejected many international rules – on intellectual property, for example – while becoming more authoritarian at home. As a recent Times article put it, China has adopted “increasingly aggressive and sometimes punitive policies that force countries to obey its rules.”

Trump is not a close student of international affairs, but he clearly grasped China’s ambitions in a way that his predecessors did not. He treated him like what he almost certainly is: America’s gravest threat since the Soviet Union.

Trump’s Chinese policy had a different weakness, in the eyes of many foreign experts and diplomats. He has upset allies who are also concerned about China’s rise to power, rather than building a coalition with Japan, Europe, Australia and others. As Keyu Jin, a Chinese economist at the London School of Economics, wrote, Trump has been “a strategic gift” to China.

Soon it will be Joe Biden’s turn – to see if he can run China more effectively than other recent presidents. (Yesterday, Biden introduced his foreign policy team.)

His administration will likely take a different approach from China on many other issues. On those others, like climate change and healthcare, Biden will try to reverse Trump’s policies. On China, Biden seems rather ready to accept Trump’s basic diagnosis but strive for more effective treatment. The Biden Team’s critique of China’s current politics is about “means rather than ends,” Walter Russell Mead wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed.

Biden and his aides have signaled that they will not revert to pre-Trump pious pre-Trump policy towards China (although several of them helped shape that policy in the Obama administration). “The United States must be tough on China,” Biden wrote in Foreign Affairs magazine in January.

To do this, they will use diplomacy. Antony Blinken, Biden’s choice for Secretary of State, said this summer: “We are competing with China… We need to rally our allies and partners instead of alienating them to face some of the challenges that China poses. ” Jake Sullivan, the new national security adviser, wrote (with historian Hal Brands) that the way to verify China’s display of “superpower ambition” and to maintain American influence is to put an end to “the current trajectory of self-sabotage”.

Biden, speaking about his new appointees yesterday, said, “They embody my fundamental belief that America is strongest when it works with its allies.”

Concretely, this could mean making more agreements on restricting the use of Chinese technology, like Huawei. That could mean creating economic alliances that only invest in developing countries if they agree to respect intellectual property and human rights – and trying to isolate China in the process.

The larger goal will be to make other countries believe that the United States is no longer going it alone. “The narrative in Asia,” Michael Green of the Center for Strategic and International Studies told me, “is that America is out of the game.”

The view of Beijing: A Chinese official writes about the possibility of “cooperative competition” in a Times editorial.

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average topped 30,000, prompting Trump to hold a brief press conference where he called the mark a “holy number.” The S.&P 500 Index – a larger measure – is now 62% above its March low and 16% above its level a year ago.

  • Spice maker McCormick & Company will acquire Cholula Hot Sauce for $ 800 million, a gamble on the growing popularity of spicy flavors.

  • Michelin and Zagat have postponed their coveted New York restaurant rating guides for 2021. “Ratings are not appropriate when so many restaurants are closed,” a Michelin representative said.

  • Fox News has struck a deal with the parents of Seth Rich, a former Democratic National Committee staff member who was killed in a seemingly botched robbery. The network had falsely called Rich’s death a political conspiracy.

  • Wildlife officials have found a strange object in the Utah desert: a monolith about 10 to 12 feet tall, sunk into the ground in a remote part of the state.

It’s time to repeat: It’s time to embrace a less famous Thanksgiving tradition: nap after the big meal, writes Times restaurant critic Pete Wells. Here are six steps to satisfying after-dinner sleepiness.

From the review: In an editorial, Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, reveals that she had a miscarriage this summer. After this year of mourning, she recommends a question to ask family members during the holiday season: “Are you okay?”

And Jennifer Senior, Thomas Friedman and Farhad Manjoo have columns.

Lives lived: The client list of Priscilla Jana, a staunch South African human rights lawyer, encompassed both the elite and the infantry of the anti-apartheid struggle. Among others, she represented Nelson and Willie Mandela. She died at 76.


Three years ago, Times chief film critics Manohla Dargis and AO Scott undertook a big business: to rank the 25 best films of the 21st century to date.

In the spiritual successor of this project, critics have once again gathered for a new list, this time of the 25 greatest players of the current century. It’s the artists – from all over the world, spanning Hollywood megastars and art-house darlings – whose performance and online presence set them apart.

The list includes Tilda Swinton, whom Manohla calls “the woman with a thousand faces from another world”; Mahershala Ali, who won Academy Awards for his roles in “Moonlight” and “Green Book”; Song Kang Ho, who played an impoverished and scheming patriarch in “Parasite”; as well as Willem Dafoe, Catherine Deneuve and Alfre Woodard.

Both critics began compiling lists of suitors over the summer. “We wanted to represent a full range of modern acting talent – global, multigenerational, big star and character actors,” Tony told us. “Twenty-five is such a small number, however! The last round of cuts have been painful. Manohla said she hopes the list inspires readers to revisit old favorites or discover new ones.

Need last minute help for Thanksgiving? Here’s how to cook a turkey (and how to cut one up). You can also make cranberry gravy and gravy from scratch.

The Grammys have announced this year’s nominees. Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, Dua Lipa, and Roddy Ricch won the most nominations, and BTS became the first K-pop group to earn a major nomination. Among the snubs: The Weeknd, who will be performing at the Super Bowl next year, and Luke Combs, one of country music’s biggest stars.

Imagine you are in Hawaii with a few easy to find items.

Late-night hosts joked about Trump’s appearances yesterday.

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