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Joe Biden & Xi Jinping talked. US-China tensions remain.

Just hours ago, Joe Biden and Xi Jinping held their first bilateral videoconference together. The three-hour virtual meeting was, as expected, cordial despite sharply diverging views on many issues. (An effusive Biden even managed to elicit something between a Cheshire Cat grin and an outright smile from the famously stone-faced Xi.) Without much detail, both sides agreed to continue working together on climate following their COP26 joint pledge, and to return to normalcy on trade. On Taiwan — by far the prickliest of many prickly topics including Hong Kong and Xinjiang — Xi warned America to not "play with fire" while Biden responded that both countries are responsible for avoiding open conflict over the self-governing island. Nevertheless, the two leaders showed, at least in the brief part of the call that was open to the public, that they can deal with each other face to face in a respectful way, which puts at least some "guardrails" (the precise word Biden mentioned) on a bilateral relationship that is otherwise spiraling in slow motion toward confrontation.

US-China trade deal; Pakistan & the pandemic; Pompeo & the UN

Ian Bremmer brings you his perspective on this week's World In (More Than) 60 Seconds:

How goes the U.S. China trade deal?

Well, if you were listening to senior adviser, trade adviser Peter Navarro last night, when he said the deal was over and the futures markets went down several hundred points, you'd say, oh, my god, the deal's gone. But literally within like half an hour, you had Kudlow, Larry Kudlow coming out and saying, no, I disagree. Trump then tweeting and saying the deal's fine. I think Navarro probably had a strip pulled off of him yesterday between him and Brad Parscale, the head of the Trump campaign. There are some unhappy folks that are in the inner circle right now.

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Huawei To Hell

It's been a momentous few days in the US-China tech cold war. The confrontation between the world's sole superpower and its biggest geopolitical rival is still more economic and technological than ideological or military, but it's shifting fast. Here's a quick rundown.

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