And his advice to the President-Elect: “First, to demonstrate that he is on top of known challenges. Second, to demonstrate that he is reflecting about the nature of their evolution. A president has an inescapable responsibility to provide direction: What are we trying to achieve? What are we trying to prevent? Why? To do that, he has to both analyze and reflect.”
These pieces and others are detailed below, appearing now at TheAtlantic.com and in the December issue of The Atlantic on newsstands.
Cover: China’s Great Leap Backward
China has become repressive in a way that it has not been since the Cultural Revolution, rife with repression of civil society and communication; anti-foreignism that is toughening business conditions for non-Chinese companies; and escalated military displays, that have most neighbors, with the exception of Russia and the Philippines. National correspondent James Fallows, a longtime China optimist who has lived in and visited China over the past three decades, considers a darker future—and asks what a more dangerous and adversarial China would mean for the United States.
For eight administrations, the U.S. has operated from essentially the same playbook in managing relations with modern China. Fallows writes that if we’re going to change our posture toward China, now is the chance—at the start of the new administration—to command President Xi Jinping’s attention. Fallows, as a former speechwriter, offers part of an address President-Elect Trump could give early in his administration: Chinese leaders often quote famous dictums from their literature, and I will cite one of our famous American sayings: We can do this the easy way, or the hard way. The United States would prefer the easier path of cooperation, which has been so beneficial to our two countries. But we are preparing for the hard way.
Cover: The Lessons of Henry Kissinger
Shortly after The Atlantic published “The Obama Doctrine” earlier this year, the magazine’s editor in chief, Jeffrey Goldberg, sat down with Henry Kissinger for a wide-ranging interview on foreign policy and advice for the next president. Goldberg reached Kissinger for his reaction to Trump’s surprising victory. Of the president-elect, Kissinger said: “We must give him an opportunity to develop his philosophy.” While he won’t reach out to Trump, “If he asks me to come see him, I will.” Later, Kissinger offered this advice for how Trump should present himself to the world, saying: “First, [he should] demonstrate that he is on top of known challenges. Second, [he should] demonstrate that he is reflecting about the nature of their evolution. A president has an inescapable responsibility to provide direction: What are we trying to achieve? What are we trying to prevent? Why? To do that, he has to both analyze and reflect.” An edited and condensed rendition of Goldberg’s conversation with Kissinger is featured in the magazine, with a complete transcript at TheAtlantic.com.