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China Needs a New Grand Strategy

Donald Trump’s US presidency has already upended the key assumptions underpinning China’s post-Cold War grand strategy. While the ideological threat to China has now all but dissipated, the economic and security risks it faces have grown more acute.

CLAREMONT, CALIFORNIA – The Cold War ended in December 1991, when the Soviet Union disintegrated. The post-Cold War era ended in November 2016, when Donald Trump won the United States presidency.

It is impossible to predict all of what the Trump era will bring, not least because of Trump’s own capriciousness. But some consequences are already apparent. In just a couple of weeks, Trump’s presidency has upended the key assumptions underpinning China’s post-Cold War grand strategy.

The first assumption is ideological. The ostensible triumph of Western liberal democracy in 1989 imbued that system with a kind of dominance. It was therefore assumed to pose an existential threat to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

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