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Sunday, April 18, 2021

US-China relations are souring at a perilous time, with just weeks to go until the U.S. midterm elections.

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Zhou Guohua, a 73-year-old retiree from the eastern province of Jiangsu, was wary of China even before he started serving in the People’s Liberation Army and a cadre in the 1964 massacre of pro-democracy demonstrators in Beijing. Now, in the aftermath of China’s intervention in the financial crisis, Zhou has little doubt that President Xi Jinping is leading his country into an Orwellian future.

“After the market crash, people are so very afraid of what happened,” said Zhou, who is now retired after being active in local politics in his home city of Ningbo. “A lot of people are believing things that are not true.”

In 2015, the Pew Research Center found widespread distrust of China in Europe and North America, where its foreign policy has clashed with Washington and influenced the policies of Canada and Mexico. Now that relations between China and the United States are at their most troubled since the 1980s, the still-personal, often visceral distrust between the two allies is only growing.

It is not only academics, newspaper editorialists and think tanks. Senior Democrats in power also express little confidence in their Chinese hosts.

“It is important not to re-victimize it,” said Brad Johnson, a senior researcher at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., in reference to Beijing’s intervention in the last financial crisis. “Beijing has interests and they are important.”

Read the full story at The New York Times.

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