To say the first Trump term was eventful with regard to US-China relations would be a gross understatement. A multi-year trade war, shuttered consulates, military posturing in the South China Sea, and recriminations abound – the tone set by the last four years has been eerily reminiscent of the Cold War, culminating in a July speech where Secretary Pompeo warned “if the free world doesn’t change, communist China will surely change us.” The negative trend has been further encouraged by developments in China, where an unconstrained Xi Jinping has cracked down on Hong Kong civil society and presided over the construction a network of concentration camps in Xinjiang and evidently Tibet as well.

Will the downward spiral in US-China relations be reversed, or is this one diplomatic relationship that even the ‘back-to-normal’ candidate won’t be able to fix?