Over the past few weeks, US and Chinese officials have proven more willing to talk. That’s good news for both countries and for the global economy. But the desire of both sides to avoid costly near-term fights doesn’t mean that anything has really changed at the heart of their increasingly contentious rivalry. Next year will offer new tests that deserve close attention.   

For now, the positive signs are real. US and Chinese officials are planning for the first face-to-face meeting of Presidents Joe Biden and Xi Jinping in more than a year, on the sidelines of the APEC summit in November in San Francisco. There has already been a surge in recent high-level meetings between US and Chinese diplomats, finance officials and trade representatives in formats not so different from the “strategic and economic dialogue” meetings of the past. There have even been discussions on hot-button subjects such as artificial intelligence. ..

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