Why China Is Alienating the World

In early 2017, China appeared to be on a roll. Its economy was beating estimates. President Xi Jinping was implementing the country’s Belt and Road infrastructure initiative and was on the cusp of opening China’s first overseas military base in Djibouti. Most important, Xi seemed poised to take advantage of President Donald Trump’s determination to pick fights with U.S. allies and international institutions. In a speech in Davos in January of that year, Xi even compared protectionism with “locking oneself in a dark room.”