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President Donald Trump and China's President Xi Jinping shake hands at a press conference following their meeting outside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Nov. 9, 2017. Photo: Artyom Ivanov/TASS via Getty Images

An important essay by former Obama and Clinton officials highlights the decades-long failure of U.S. policy towards China.

Be smart: There were lots of good reasons to pursue engagement with China, and it's too late and risky to completely undo it now. Now the fundamental American policy framework towards China is shifting again to a harder line with near bipartisan consensus.

America’s China policy is a failure, according to 2 former Obama officials and Clinton advisers in an essay in the latest issue of Foreign Affairs.

From "The China Reckoning" by Kurt Campbell & Ely Ratner:

"Neither carrots nor sticks have swayed China as predicted. Diplomatic and commercial engagement have not brought political and economic openness. Neither U.S. military power nor regional balancing has stopped Beijing from seeking to displace core components of the U.S.-led system. And the liberal international order has failed to lure or bind China as powerfully as expected. China has instead pursued its own course, belying a range of American expectations in the process."

What might have been? James Mann, author of then controversial 2007 book "The China Fantasy," sent me the following comments after reading the Campbell/Ratner piece, which he says validates the premise in his book:

  • They share the same 2 central points — U.S. hopes of changing China were wrong, and the assumption that China could or wanted to be integrated into (our) international order was also wrong.
  • Put this new Foreign Affairs piece together with Trump's recent National Security Strategy, and it means that the central  argument of "The China Fantasy" has now, for the first time, become mainstream thinking in both major parties.
  • This leave the questions of how much harm was done over the past 11 years and would Trump be president today if American policy was adjusted earlier so American workers in states like Pennsylvania wouldn't have been "left alienated and embittered?"

One takeaway: Trump may be taking a tougher approach to the PRC but be under no illusions that a President Clinton would have been softer.

Go deeper

Texas urges Supreme Court to leave abortion ban in place

Photo: Emily Elconin/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Texas on Thursday asked the Supreme Court to keep in place a law that bans abortions after an embryo's cardiac activity is detected, which can be as soon as six weeks and before many people know they are pregnant.

Driving the news: Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is asking the high court to ignore the Justice Department's emergency request that they temporarily block the law while federal courts consider its constitutionality since it "lacks standing because it has not been injured by SB 8."

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
3 hours ago - Economy & Business

Meme stonks lose their appeal to the world of crypto

Data: Cardify; Chart: Axios Visuals

That sucking sound you hear is the outflow of meme-chasing dollars from the stock market.

Why it matters: The caravan has moved on. The dream of getting rich quick still lives, but today it's more often found in the world of crypto, NFTs or even sports betting than it is in the stock market.

Latinas who brew seek to shake craft beer industry

A server at Mujeres Brew House in San Diego rings up a customer in front of a selection of craft beers. Photo: Russell Contreras/Axios

Independent craft brewers are popping up in cities across the country, and a small but growing number of them are Latina-owned or run by a Latina head brewer.

The big picture: Latinas are opening up independent craft breweries from California to Colorado as Latina-owned small businesses continue to be one of the fastest-growing segments of the economy despite a lack of venture capital.