Everything about United States-China relations hinges on the result of the upcoming US presidential election.

A Trump 2.0 administration would essentially turbo-charge its first-term bet on decoupling, aiming to squeeze “malign” China on a multiple hybrid war front, undermine the Chinese trade surplus and co-opt large swaths of Asia while always characterizing China as evil incarnate.

Team Biden, even as it professes no desire to fall into the trap of a new Cold War, judging by the Democratic Party's official platform would be only slightly less confrontational – ostensibly “saving” the “rules-based order” while keeping Trump-enacted sanctions.    

Very few Chinese analysts are better positioned to survey the geopolitical and geoeconomic chessboard than Lanxin Xiang, an expert on relations among China, US and Europe, a professor of history and international relations at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID) in Geneva and director of the Center for One Belt, One Road Studies in Shanghai.

Xiang received his PhD from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington, DC, and is as well respected in the US as he is in China. During a recent webinar, he laid out the lineaments of an analysis the West ignores at its peril.