The world can change China

At key moments in China's history, including under Deng Xiaoping, external pressure was indispensable to change. Now is yet another moment to support reforms.

The behaviour of Chinese officials at the recent Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Papua New Guinea reportedly barging into the foreign minister's office, to try to cut mildly critical language on trade from a final communique, seemed intended to signal that China won't budge an inch on United States demands.

Commerce Minister Zhong Shan has declared that those who assume Beijing will cave to US President Donald Trump's bullying "don't know the history and culture of China".

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 26, 2018, with the headline 'The world can change China'. Print Edition | Subscribe