With a new US administration about to be inaugurated, it is prudent to look at the dynamics and variables shaping the future of one of the world’s most important relationships, that between Washington and Beijing. President Donald Trump came into office looking to take a more aggressive approach toward China. Trump’s reliance on figures like Peter Navarro and Mike Pompeo put American foreign policy on a forceful path. While Navarro, as Trump’s trade adviser, was focused on conducting trade wars, Secretary of State Pompeo was centered on military balancing. In the final year of the Trump presidency, relations with China were rapidly disintegrating, with little room left for cooperation.