To paraphrase the English poet Percy Bysshe Shelley: If election season comes to the US, can complaints about China be far behind? It’s a familiar pattern in the US: The party out of power runs against the China relationship, with the administration in power playing defense, making the best of an imperfect situation. China’s presumptive next president, Xi Jinping, who began a visit to the US this week, can take home firsthand impressions of this US dynamic. Whichever side wins, after the inaugural, US policy remains essentially the same.

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