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Bashing China has been one of the main features of the US presidential election campaign. Both candidates have promised to take "punitive" measures against China for one reason or the other if they are elected to the White House. But would they really do so? Or are US President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney playing to the gallery to score political points and garner votes?
Going by experience, the new US administration could get tougher with China. Since containing China is the most important foreign policy challenge for the US, Beijing should prepare for increased attacks from Washington in regional as well as global issues.
Given the complexity of Sino-American relations, the two countries can neither easily build strategic mutual trust, nor afford to openly confront each other. This means, the China-US relationship will go through ups and downs in the coming years. True, leaders of both countries agree that bilateral ties are of vital importance, but of "vital importance" also means "a lot of trouble".