By Christoph Giesen and Claus Hulverscheidt, Beijing / Berlin
The first week of November 2020 was a week of relief for millions of people around the world, including Chinese citizen Xi Jinping. Americans had rejected Donald Trump as president, the four-year-old haunted by chaos, alcohol and trade wars finally seemed to be over. 45 weeks later some hopes for Trump’s successor Joe Biden have come true, other things are at least partially recognizable. Xi Jinping, however, Biden’s counterpart in Beijing, almost feels like this November week never happened: U.S. punitive tariffs on imports from China are still in effect, Washington’s mistrust. with regard to Beijing remains high and the thread of the conversation between the two governments is still high so thin that it can be torn off at any time.