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The notion that China would replace the U.S. as the dominant global power was not considered plausible – by either the Chinese or observers around the world – until Trump's presidency.Although the event has been presented as an occasion for the two leaders to become personally acquainted, Trump reportedly intends to raise at least three major issues with Xi: America's massive trade deficit with China, North Korea's nuclear program, and the territorial disputes between China and U.S. allies in the South China Sea.On trade, Trump wants to curtail Chinese exports to the U.S., presumably by imposing higher tariffs on Chinese goods and pressuring U.S. and international manufacturers to move their production facilities to America.A better alternative for Trump would be to persuade China to import more from the U.S. But making that change would take time for China. If China has less control over North Korea than many assume, Xi may be unlikely to offer any strategic concessions to Trump to address the nuclear threat.Trump also wants to stop China's strategic encroachments in the South China Sea; but, as his meeting with Xi will prove, his options are as limited as Obama's were.
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