As a China strategy guide, the Longer Telegram falls short

75 years after Kennan’s Soviet containment strategy, the new document targets China and Xi

A picture of Chinese President Xi Jinping at an exhibition on China’s Covid-19 fight in Wuhan last month. PHOTO: AFP
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Barely a few months after the end of World War II, an American diplomat sat down at his desk in the United States Embassy in Moscow to write a telegram to his superiors back in Washington, hoping to advise them on how the US should deal with the Soviet Union.

George Kennan, the man in question, considered his topic so vital that he ignored the iron rule of diplomatic communications which was to keep all telegrams brief and sharp. Instead, his policy recommendations went on for more than 5,000 words, an absolute record for the world of US diplomacy at that time.

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