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China’s Rise Relied on the West. Xi Jinping Is Turning Away.


In late 1978, China’s paramount leader, Deng Xiaoping, set in motion two major policy shifts that would change China and the world order in the decades to come. At a Communist Party meeting that December, the leadership declared that China would turn its focus from political struggle to economic development. Within days, China and the United States announced that they would establish diplomatic relations.These two events marked the end of China as a hermit country where one billion people lived in extreme poverty and the start of its evolution into a superpower.It was no coincidence that the country’s economic reform and opening up to the outside world went hand in hand. “China cannot develop in isolation from the world,” Mr. Deng declared.Now both policies are in jeopardy. China’s current paramount leader, Xi Jinping, who has just started his third term as the nation’s president, has reversed many of the policies that propelled China’s …

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