A couple of months ago, while touring Jiangxi Province, Chinese President Xi Jinping made reference to an old revolutionary milestone. “Now there is a new Long March, and we should make a new start,” he said in response to the mounting economic conflict with the United States. In China, symbolism is often more important than literal interpretation of leaders’ elliptical statements. Spoken in the same province where the Long March commenced in 1934, ultimately leading to Mao’s defeat of the Nationalists 15 years later, Xi’s reminder underscored China’s greatest strength: the long view.
That strength was on display during my latest visit to China in early July. In a series of wide-ranging meetings and discussions, three conclusions stood out. Each challenges America’s bipartisan demonization of China.