Los Angeles Times

US policy toward China shifts from engagement to confrontation

WASHINGTON — For decades, China had no closer American friend than Dianne Feinstein.

As San Francisco mayor in the 1970s, she forged a sister-city relationship with Shanghai, the first between American and Chinese communities. As U.S. senator, she dined with Chinese leaders at Mao Zedong’s old Beijing residence. And in the 1990s, she championed a trade policy change that opened a floodgate of Western investment into China.

Today the Democratic senator from California sees China as a growing threat, joining a broad array of Trump administration officials, national security strategists and business executives who once favored engagement with Beijing and now advocate a confrontational approach instead.

“I hate to see it all beginning to come apart,” Feinstein said. “That is so hard for me to see ... with all of the hopes that I had between China and this country.”

She has pushed legislation that makes it tougher for Chinese investors to acquire stakes in U.S. firms. And at a recent Senate hearing, she joined other lawmakers in slamming Beijing for cyberattacks and other digital thefts.

Under President Donald Trump’s “America First” policies, the U.S. approach to Xi Jinping’s China has grown more adversarial on multiple geopolitical and economic fronts, much as Washington and Moscow were locked

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