As Soviet influence increased during the Cold War era, the

  shrinking global footprint of its European allies made the Unite

d States and its allied partners worried that the West was “losing control of the world,” exp

lains David Vine, author of “Island of Shame,” which documents the fate of the Chagos archipelago.

  It was perhaps no coincidence that during this period America beg

an what experts say was a concerted attempt to create a network of bases and facilities that

offered military protection without the burden of ruling a colonial population.

  ”If you look at all the land globally occupied by the US, it’s not very much land mass, sm

aller than the state of Connecticut,” says Immerwahr, author of “How To Hide An Empire.”

  ”But, nevertheless, there are hundreds of points in foreign

countries that the US controls and which are really important in protecting its power today.”

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You just have to put your head down, fight back and gove

  the country — that’s what Clinton did,” Graham said, saying Trump should now challenge the Democrats to “fix problems.”

  There was more than an echo of Clintonian rhetoric in Trump’s public statement

on Tuesday, delivered as he signed an executive order tackling an epidemic of suicide among veterans.

  ”Instead of doing infrastructure, instead of doing health care, instead of doing so many things that they should be doing, th

ey want to play games,” Trump said of his Democratic opponents. “It’s too bad because I’d rather see them do legislation.”

  The Clinton parallel may not be exact, however.

  At the start of his impeachment drama in 1998, Clinton was far more popular than Tru

mp, with his approval rating measured by Gallup at 58%. He never went below 60% in the brutal year that

followed, hit 73% after he was impeached and settled at 66% after he was acquitted in a Senate trial.

  According to the Quinnipiac poll, Trump is at 38% approval. And while a recent Wall Street Jour

nal/NBC poll had him at 46%, his numbers rarely move beyond a narrow range, with favorability well below a majority of voters.

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Which is why US President Donald Trump’s latest remarks

that the negotiations have been progressing “very well” and he might reportedly even let the March 1 deadline “slide for a little while” — have been taken as portents that progress is being made and a positive result may well be on the way.

Especially as White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders has raised the possibility of Trump meeting with Pres

ident Xi Jinping at the US president’s personal retreat at Mar-a-Lago in Florida, sometime in March — The White Ho

use has previously said the two leaders would have to meet to strike the final bargain.

The market never lies, as the saying goes. Let’s hope that’s true, because the stock market has already

cast a vote of confidence in China and the US being able to reach a deal. The bench mark S

hanghai Composite Index has rebounded more than 10 percent, and the Dow Jones industrial average, more than 15

percent, from their lows in December when Sino-US trade tensions were running high.

It is apt that melting snow symbolizes a new beginning, as positive progress in the talks would m

ean a convergence of expectations for bilateral relations and help ensure the Sino-US relationship has a s

olid foundation of mutual trust and good momentum for positive interaction at the start of its fifth decade.

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