Instead of maintaining a policy of careful diplomacy, the US president’s attack on the country has gifted China greater influence in an unstable region

Xi Jinping, the Chinese president, is not a man predisposed to smiling. And yet, as I watched Donald Trump outline his Afghanistan strategy, I could easily imagine his face lighting up. If there is one clear winner of the new approach in Afghanistan, it is China.

Related: Trump to expand US military intervention in Afghanistan

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