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The two greatest challenges for American statecraft in the 21st century are becoming more severe — and seemingly pulling the United States in opposing directions.

Relations with China are deteriorating by the day, presaging a prolonged competition over the shape of global order. Meanwhile, the worsening effects of climate change — demonstrated by the shocking melting of ice in Greenland this summer — are invoking the specter of ecological catastrophe. And while dealing with the changing climate will undoubtedly require cooperation between Beijing and Washington — the world’s two largest emitters of greenhouse gases — winning the geopolitical struggle with China will require the U.S. to take a harder-edged, more competitive approach.

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