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Thursday, January 13, 2022
ANBOUND's Observation: H. R. McMaster's New Book Reveals How U.S.-China Relations Turned Sour
Chan Kung

In the book Battlegrounds: The Fight to Defend the Free World, authored by Donald Trump's national security adviser, retired Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster, there is a section that reveals how the relations of the U.S. and China turned sour.

According to the book, Trump's visit to China on November 8, 2017, was greeted with one of the best receptions in history: a tour, dinner, and talks inside the Forbidden City. Nonetheless, it ended badly. The last of those meetings, led by Premier Li Keqiang, ended up with Trump leaving without achieving anything.

McMaster wrote that Li Keqiang began the meeting by noting that China, having already developed its industrial and technology base, no longer needed the United States. He dismissed U.S. concerns over unfair trade and economic practices, indicating that the U.S. role in the future global economy would be to provide China with raw materials, agricultural products, and energy to fuel its production of the world’s cutting-edge industrial and consumer products.

Trump, according to the book, listened for as long as he could and then interrupted the premier, thanked him, and stood up to end the meeting. In McMaster’s words, “as we drove to the hotel to prepare for the state dinner back at the Great Hall, Matt Pottinger and I discussed how starkly Premier Li’s monologue had revealed the Chinese Communist Party’s break from Deng Xiaoping’s guidance during China’s opening and reform period in the 1990s: ‘hide our capabilities and bide our time, never try to take the lead, and be able to accomplish something’”.