(Paul Wiseman – Associated Press)
For years, at leadership summits and global conferences, the United States pushed a reluctant China to open its markets and embrace free trade.
Now, as President Donald Trump prepares to host his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, at Mar-a-Lago in Florida, a reversal of sorts has emerged: It’s the U.S. leader who is seen as an unpredictable wild card and a skeptic of free-trade deals – and it’s China that is casting itself as a champion of rules-based global trade.
At the heart of the shift is an unconventional president who is overturning expectations of what the United States wants, what it says and how it behaves on a global stage.
At an annual gathering of global elites this year in Davos, Switzerland, Xi gave a speech extolling free trade. And when the United States abandoned an Asia-Pacific free-trade pact in January, China intensified efforts to persuade countries to join its version of a regional trade accord. Click here to read more.