Open Forum

In mid-2020, US policy took a decidedly more negative turn toward China, driven by leaders whose foreign policy judgment was highly suspect. While there was bipartisan consensus on what was objectionable in Chinese foreign and domestic policies and on the necessity of a more robust pushback by the US and its allies, the specifics and tone of top officials’ statements were often viewed as election-driven. No sustained policy process would bind Biden if elected. Other themes were discussed in webinars, but they paled before the overriding foreign concern, even as the domestic fixation with a disastrous response to the pandemic superseded foreign issues.

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