The Atlantic

Things Weren’t Always This Bad Between the U.S. and China

Washington’s hostility toward Beijing is a relatively new phenomenon.
Source: Carlos Barria / Reuters

The United States and China are again seeking to resolve their long-running dispute on trade this week as a high-level delegation from Washington arrives in Beijing for another round of negotiations. In recent days, however, peaceful engagement with the Middle Kingdom hasn’t been on Washington’s mind.

The U.S. dispatched warships through the strait between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan, earning the inevitable rebuke from Beijing, which still claims the island as part of China. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, meanwhile, warned one of America’s closest allies, Israel, about getting too close to China, pointing to risks over technological cooperation with Beijing.

These divergent events typify what has become a highly dysfunctional relationship between Washington and Beijing. At one moment, the two are striving to

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