Why Trump’s Hard Line on Iran Could Benefit China Most of All

Chinese President Xi Jinping welcomes Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a meeting during the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Qingdao, China, June 10, 2018 (AP photo by Alexander Zemlianichenko).
Chinese President Xi Jinping welcomes Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a meeting during the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Qingdao, China, June 10, 2018 (AP photo by Alexander Zemlianichenko).
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On his five-nation swing through Asia last November, U.S. President Donald Trump touted his administration’s vision for a “free and open Indo-Pacific.” The idea of focusing attention and resources on the world’s most populous region, where America’s economic future lies, struck most observers as smart and strategic, although the details remained vague and were difficult to square with his moves to dismantle his predecessor’s trade policies in Asia. But now Trump’s emerging Middle East strategy, marked most of all by his withdrawal last month from the Iran nuclear deal, may derail whatever goals he has in Asia before they get […]

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