A month before the 2016 U.S. presidential election, Vice President Joe Biden left a word of advice for the next administration. “Sometimes,” the former vice president wrote in Foreign Affairs, “cooperation and competition with China will coexist. The notion that it will be all one or the other is shortsighted and self-defeating.”
President Donald Trump didn’t exactly take his advice. When Biden moves into the White House on Wednesday, he will inherit from Trump a relationship with China at its lowest point since the Nixon administration, the result of an almost wholesale rejection of cooperation with a rising China. This is in addition to a raging coronavirus crisis, an economy in tatters, and a U.S. reputation that has been dragged through the mud, most recently by a rampage at the Capitol enabled by the president himself.
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