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All hope is not lost for US-China relations, despite tensions and tepid virtual summit

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By Tom Plate

Can it be that fresh air is being permitted to enter U.S. foreign affairs thinking? The other day, a critique of U.S. policy toward China turned up on my computer screen that raised my hopes. It amounted to a reasoned plea for exactly the kind of strategic rethinking America needs to put together soon.

The essay called for junking the moribund approach of confrontation and containment and re-pivoting to Asia with a calibrated appreciation of China's growing stature in 21st-century geopolitics. It coolly reprimanded both sides for fueling the growing bilateral arms race, when the race which both sides should be leading is the global marathon against climate change and COVID-19 resurgence.

The extraordinary thing about this article, though, was not just the substance itself, but the notable platform of its transmission. It was in Foreign Affairs, the journal of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) in New York.

Foreign Affairs has not always been everyone's cup of tea. For truly cosmopolitan Americans, perhaps on the West Coast especially, Foreign Affairs and its parent organization, the CFR, were viewed as an East Coast men's club where grumpy grandees snoozed away in the library.

It seemed like an unfeeling place where American triumphalism was on display for all to see, whether they liked it or not. But, perhaps now, the prospect of a different global future is starting to dawn, even on the old Foreign Affairs........

© The Korea Times

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