January 23, 2017

If America Refuses to Lead

By Richard Fontaine and Mira Rapp-Hooper

Just a few months ago, the notion of China as the savior of international order would have struck most as fanciful, even absurd. Yet President Xi Jinping’s debut at Davos last week amounted to an attempt to seize at least a portion of that mantle.

Decrying protectionism and defending globalization, Mr. Xi made the case for a more prominent Chinese role in global economic leadership. By most accounts, his remarks were well-received by the elite audience, many of whom are struggling with populist opposition to key features of the global order.

International politics abhors a vacuum, and it is into the breach left by the U.S. that Mr. Xi is directing his efforts. Encouraged by the perception of Obama-era retrenchment, the death of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and uncertainty about the scope and nature of Trump administration engagement, China stands to benefit from any American retreat from the world.

Read the full article at The Wall Street Journal.

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