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The leader of the free world is in Asia this week, displaying his very idiosyncratic brand of US diplomacy. The 11-day trip offers an opportunity to assess Donald Trump’s foreign policy one year after he was elected, and how far he embodies American values to the rest of the world.

Edward Luce argues that the House of Trump’s values are too redolent of the House of Saud, a mixture of gold elevators and a love for making a deal that benefits the family. The new affinity between Riyadh and the White House is, he believes, a sign of decay in the US-led world order.

For a more salutary lesson from a less-cosseted ally, Jamil Anderlini writes that the president should have paid better, and more respectful, attention while he was in South Korea: the country in the greatest danger from communist authoritarians in North Korea offers “a beacon of hope” and an example of the benefits of capitalism and liberal democracy.

China’s consumer revolution: John Gapper writes on Alibaba’s shopping and entertainment jamboree this coming Saturday, which could eventually herald a clash between shopping and party control.

Narendra Modi’s reforms: Rahul Gandhi writes for the FT arguing that one year on, the Indian prime minister’s demonetisation and tax changes, aimed to stamp out corruption, have hobbled India’s economy.

Best of the rest

A Letter from Pennsylvania in Politico Magazine by Michael Kruze explains why Trump voters remain loyal.

Gary Younge explains why he interviewed white supremacist Richard Spencer.

Writing in Le Monde, Said Ben Said argues that the roots of anti-Semitism in the Arab world run deep.

David Aaronovitch in The Times admits he has picked a poor moment to praise British politicians.

What you’ve been saying

Comment from dishoom_is_just_ok on Rahul Gandhi’s opinion article, Modi’s reforms have robbed India of its economic prowess

“I wish there were more concrete figures on the amount of money that has entered the financial system as a result of the demonetisation. More importantly, if any of that money has been converted into credit. This is your main challenge. I wish I had something better for you. Here is looking at you CAFRAL/RBI.
- Finally even if demon. has hurt small businesses, my imperfect and anecdotal reading of the situation is that people have been ok with the Govt sticking it to the high and mighty.
So I am not sure if the whole things was a success or a failure. I wish FT would run a substantive piece on arguments for/against demonetisation; are all demonestisation schemes doomed to failure or did Modi muck up what on paper is a good idea?”

US has a fifth ace in its poker game with China — letter from Robert Walsh in Connecticut

“Professor Nye explains these aces as geography, energy, trade and the US dollar. But there is a fifth ace, demographics. While the US has only a slightly better total fertility rate than China, in each case below replacement, the US has slow but steady population growth through immigration. US immigration is youthful, generally more healthy and educated than what US populists believe, and serves as a profound contrast to China’s principal demographic trend, its population explosion of old people. The number of Chinese aged 65 or older is growing at 4 per cent a year, a rate rarely seen in world history, and without a reliable social security system.”

Maybe voters could get behind EEA membership — letter from Maureen Green in Surrey

“Sir, It is true, as Hugo Dixon writes (Letters, November 7) that membership of the European Economic Area is inferior to the position the UK enjoys now as a member of the EU. But it has one huge political advantage. It would allow the government to argue that we are leaving the EU, as a small majority of voters requested, but remaining within the single market, as a large majority of MPs and possibly voters would support.”

Today’s opinion

FT View: The diplomatic route to a North Korean solution
Negotiation and deterrence are the only options in this tense stand-off

FT View: Brexit risks destabilising Ireland’s fragile peace
The UK should pledge to do what it takes to avoid a hard Irish border

Brexit and Britain’s fraught democratic experiment
Questions about the UK’s future may be uncomfortable, but they are also necessary

The House of Trump and the House of Saud
The blossoming relationship with Riyadh symbolises the decay of the US-led order

Free Lunch: The hard work on US tax reform starts now
Republican plan faces no easier passage than failed crusade against healthcare

South Korea’s success reflects core American values
Trump should note the country is a beacon of hope for liberal capitalist democracy

FT Alphaville: Like begets like — until the tax code changes

FT View

FT View: The diplomatic route to a North Korean solution
Negotiation and deterrence are the only options in this tense stand-off

FT View: Brexit risks destabilising Ireland’s fragile peace
The UK should pledge to do what it takes to avoid a hard Irish border

The Big Read

The Big Read: Electric cars’ green image blackens beneath the bonnet
Research into the lifecycle of electric vehicles is a wake-up call for an industry geared up to promote ‘zero emission cars’

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