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A breathing space for Xi and Trump

Resolution of 1980s US-Japan trade conflict offers hopeful precedents

| China
Silicon Valley financial backers' frequent trips to China have come to a stop, as flights to mainland China from nearby airports have been suspended until the end of March.     © Reuters

U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping have thankfully stepped back from the brink of a new Cold War -- but only for now.

The deal reached over the weekend at the Group of 20 summit in Buenos Aires is hardly a historic turning point. It is instead the vaguest sort of truce, with the U.S. and China each putting out conflicting statements on what has been agreed. The gap in the language highlights the chasm of economic differences that still divides Washington and Beijing -- and bodes ill for the coming talks.

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