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Whatever else future historians say about Donald Trump's early foreign policy moves, they're likely to note the erratic and, in many ways, self-defeating nature of the president-elect's initial dealings with China, the country many analysts view as America's most important long-term rival.But if Trump planned to take a tougher stance, this was a haphazard way to do it. Trump's phone call Friday with Taiwan's president needn't have created this crisis.The episode reinforced two points about Trump: He loves to be flattered by calls from foreign leaders (including "presidents" of countries the U.S. doesn't recognize).Friday, he was in Beijing saying soothing things about Trump; a few hours later, the president-elect threw a stink bomb into the edifice Kissinger started building 45 years ago.President Xi Jinping had welcomed Kissinger Friday as a potential intermediary with Trump. Kissinger suggested that Trump, despite his inexperience, would be pragmatic. Trump just faced his first foreign policy test with the Taiwan flap and muffed it.
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