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Digital Subscriptions > Newsweek International > 21st April 2017 > PAPER TIGER CUTS


Despite his tough talk on China, Donald Trump’s naïveté about Beijing could leave the U.S. weaker in Asia

IN HIS REMARKABLE run for the White House, Donald Trump talked a lot about “winning.” But in his administration’s initial interactions with China, it’s Beijing that appears to have scored the biggest victory, when Rex Tillerson reiterated a talking point the Chinese have long embraced. During his inaugural visit to China in March, the new secretary of state described the foundations of the U.S.-China relationship as “win-win cooperation.”

Weeks later, in the run-up to Trump’s i rst faceto- face meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort on April 6 and 7, that phrase continued to echo in high-level foreign policy discussions here and abroad. For Beijing, “win-win” and “mutual respect”—another slogan the secretary of state uttered in March— are code for aiffrming China’s unrivaled power in the Asia-Pacii c. Trump and leading advisers like Tillerson, neophytes to U.S.-China relations, may toss around statements and threats without much deliberation. But the Chinese take language very seriously. Which is why Beijing was gloating in the aftermath of Tillerson’s visit, while traditional allies were rattled.

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SPLITTING HEADACHE: IS FBI DIRECTOR JAMES COMEY FIR TO TAKE ON TRUMP Many say FBI Director James Comey torpedoed the presidential aspirations of Hillary Clinton, and he may soon do the same for Donald Trump. As the bureau’s investigation of Russian interference in the election and the possible collusion of Trump’s camp builds toward a confrontation, America needs to know if their top G-man is a righteous warrior or a self-righteous prig.