China-US ties sinking amid acrimony over trade, politics

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China-US ties sinking amid acrimony over trade, politics
FILE - In this Nov. 9, 2017, file photo, U.S. President Donald Trump, right, chats with Chinese President Xi Jinping during a welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. The White House’s move to expand Washington’s dispute with Beijing beyond trade and technology and into accusations of political meddling have sunk relations between the world’s two largest economies to their lowest level since the end of the Cold War. (AP Photo/Andy Wong, File)

BEIJING (AP) — The White House’s move to expand Washington’s dispute with Beijing beyond trade and technology and into accusations of political meddling have sunk relations between the world’s two largest economies to their lowest level since the end of the Cold War.

A speech by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence on Oct. 4 was the highest-level sign U.S. strategy was turning from engagement to confrontation. Pence accused China of interfering in the midterm elections to undermine President Donald Trump’s tough trade policies against Beijing and warned other countries to be wary of Beijing’s “debt diplomacy.”

Both sides are trading increasingly sharp accusations over human rights and global hegemony, exposing an ideological divide that pits the two on a path of confrontation with no clear resolution in sight.