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The stakes couldn’t be higher for the U.S.-China trade talks

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Marco Rubio, a Republican, represents Florida in the U.S. Senate.

As American officials continue talks with their counterparts in Beijing to end the U.S.-China trade dispute, they should resist the temptation to cut a bad deal. At a minimum, they should strive to achieve the goals that President Trump outlined late last year: meaningful structural changes regarding forced technology transfers, intellectual-property theft, non-tariff barriers and cybersecurity.

Bringing balance to America’s relationship with the People’s Republic of China is the geopolitical challenge of this century. That the United States is now in a position to deliver on the challenge is impressive. The opportunity shouldn’t be wasted by focusing on a handful of individual trade matters that do little to address structural imbalances. An improved U.S. trade surplus in soybeans would not be enough.

For nearly two decades, the communist Chinese government fooled the world into believing it would eventually embrace international norms. By welcoming China into the World Trade Organization in 2001, the United States and other nations hoped it would truly open its economy and markets to foreign companies and, someday, even allow for political liberalization.

The hopes were mistaken.

As China rises, seeking to become the dominant global superpower, it is violating the international rules of the past century while moving........

© Washington Post