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Regarding national security, China assumed that the U.S. did not pose an imminent threat.All in all, China's leaders had come to terms with the dual nature of America's hedging strategy, whereby the U.S. engaged with China economically and diplomatically, while maintaining a robust security posture vis-a-vis China, to deter expansionism. Given China's dependence on exports, even the best-case scenario is likely to lead to some decline in China's potential growth.Trump has not only threatened to defy the "One China" policy, which has formed the foundation of U.S.-China relations since 1972; he has also vowed to build up U.S. naval capabilities with the explicit goal of opposing China. Trump's courting of Russian President Vladimir Putin has only exacerbated concerns among Chinese leaders that the U.S. is preparing to challenge China.If Trump opts to confront China in the South China Sea or abandons the One China policy, U.S.-China relations could be tipped into free fall, raising the frightening prospect of a direct military conflict.Barring that, Trump's ascent to the presidency may usher in a new Cold War pitting the U.S. against China.
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