In the first year of Donald Trump’s presidency, the damage wrought by his administration’s foreign policy fell well short of what had been feared.
Despite his thundering rhetoric and tweets dubbing North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un “little rocket man,” the new US president did not start any wars, whether on the Korean Peninsula or in the South China Sea. There was no conflict over Taiwan, either, following Mr. Trump’s questioning of America’s longstanding “one China” policy.
In fact, rather than clashing with China, Mr. Trump seems to have forged a close personal relationship with Chinese President Xi Jinping. China’s leaders could hardly believe their luck when one of the US president’s first official acts was to withdraw the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which would have excluded China and shored up Western trade rules in the Asia-Pacific region. It was as if Mr. Trump wanted to make China, not America, great again.
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