News analysis

Xi’s direct rebuke of US signals that China is braced for rockier relations

Chinese President Xi Jinping has been relatively restrained in criticising the US, but pulled no punches this week. PHOTO: EPA-EFE
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BEIJING - He may have only very recently broken his public silence on perceived bullying by the United States, but Chinese President Xi Jinping did not just wake up to what some international relations experts say is the possibility, if not inevitability, of China and the US falling into a Thucydides Trap.

As early as 2009 when Mr Xi was vice-president, he slapped the US on the wrist – indirectly and behind closed doors – during a stopover in Mexico, America’s backyard.

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