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On Jan. 15, it seemed like the U.S. and China had avoided a quick descent into a new Cold War.

In Washington, U.S. President Donald Trump declared that "our relationship with China is the best it’s ever been” while signing a preliminary trade deal that "unifies the countries.” The pact between Trump and China’s Xi Jinping raised hopes that the world’s predominant superpower could peacefully resolve differences with a rising China.

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