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Book review: A glimmer of hope in U.S.-China relations?

Washington must update its understanding of contemporary Chinese society

Written in accessible and clinical prose, Cheng Li's tour de force offers something to everyone. (Courtesy of Brookings Institution Press)

HONG KONG -- Many among those who had hoped for a reset to U.S.-China relations as President Joe Biden took over following Donald Trump's fraught years have found themselves disillusioned by the recent turn of events.

Chinese and American diplomats alike abandoned much semblance of diplomacy, doubling down on bellicose, moralizing rhetoric toward each other. Biden declared he foresaw "extreme competition" with China, while President Xi Jinping insisted that "international rules should be based on universally recognized norms, rather than the rules of the few," calling upon Chinese citizens to "fight" (douzheng) in upholding China's interests vis-a-vis the West.

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