US-China relations are at an all time low, but Trump still seems unsure how to handle Beijing



James Griffiths | CNN

Hong Kong (CNN) Throughout his time in office, US President Donald Trump has blown hot and cold on China.

Early in his tenure, he visited Beijing, where he schmoozed with Chinese leader Xi Jinping in the Forbidden City, and praised the “very good chemistry” the two men shared. The following year, however, Trump launched a trade war against China, while simultaneously holding out for an historic deal between the two countries.

That deal is still outstanding, and seems unlikely to be achieved before the end of Trump’s term, especially as relations between Washington and Beijing have plummeted over issues such as the coronavirus, Hong Kong, and Xinjiang. Trump’s cabinet is packed with China hawks, and his secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, has become a figure of loathing in the Chinese media.

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