Chaos Under Heaven: Trump, Xi, and the Battle for the Twenty-First Century

Josh Rogin. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $30 (384p) ISBN 978-0-358-39324-5
Washington Post columnist Rogin debuts with a deeply reported look at U.S.-China relations during the Trump presidency. Contending that the administration’s instinct to confront China over trade and national security matters was the right one, Rogin details how internal divisions between trade policy adviser Peter Navarro, treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin, chief of staff John Kelly, and others led to a disjointed, chaotic approach. Rogin also highlights the contrast between Trump’s public hostility toward China and his determined efforts to befriend Chinese leader Xi Jinping, revealing that the two stayed in regular contact, both directly and through intermediaries, even as they traded barbs in the press. Disbelieving that Chinese officials would handle the Covid-19 pandemic with “so much secrecy and misinformation,” White House officials initially resisted deputy national security adviser Matthew Pottinger’s January call for banning travel from China. Trump eventually enacted the ban over the objections of Mnuchin and chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, and during the ensuing months his administration took a harder line against China on a range of issues. Packing the account with insider details, Rogin makes a persuasive case that confronting China’s rise is essential to world affairs. Readers will appreciate this in-depth look behind the headlines. (Mar.)
Reviewed on : 03/09/2021
Release date: 03/01/2021
Genre: Nonfiction
Compact Disc - 320 pages - 978-0-358-44898-3
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