Joesph Biden and Xi Jinping in Beijing, August 2011
How Hwee Young / Reuters

It is no secret that the U.S.-Chinese relationship has entered dangerous and unstable territory. Chinese President Xi Jinping, recently elevated by the Sixth Party Plenum to the apex of socialist greatness (alongside Mao Zedong), sees the world in a turbulent state “unprecedented in the past century.” The East, in his view, is rising, whereas the West is in decline; China, Xi said, has “time and momentum on its side.” To take advantage of this favorable correlation of forces, he set aside the “hide and bide” caution of former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping in favor of a far more

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