Oh for the Nixon years when the US and China had some kind of entente cordial and things seemed rosy in the garden. Nowadays things have changed big time between the US and China, two of the biggest economies in the world.

Rex Tillerson has been pouring cold water on the state of US-Chinese relations and said the relationship is at a "pivotal point". He has called for strong efforts to de-escalate the tense atmosphere between Beijing and Washington.

Trade issues and North Korea plus China's expansionist ambitions are fueling this tension, and Tillerson has said this could result in "open conflict".

Judging by the state of things at play in the world it seems the US and Chinese have very different ideas for the world and this is not good.

Trump welcomed Xi Jinping once

It was in the early days of Trump's Presidency he welcomed his Chinese counterpart and wined him and dined him at Maralago his golf club in Florida. It seemed like the two of them were best buddies, but at a later meeting for the US and China to agree on common strategies it ended in deadlock.

Some are blaming Tillerson's pessimism on this failed meeting and agreeing that had this meeting gone well some of the issues between the US and China could have been ironed out. Trump recently Tweeted that he would hit back at unfair Chinese trade rules and was angry at non-cooperation over the antics of Kim Jong-un.

Orville Schell Head of US-China relations at New York's Asia Society said Tillerson's words were describing the real situation between the two countries. Schell himself described Chinese-American relations as being "increasingly estranged" and "divergent".

Such is the history of when two powers try to get along, but sooner or later things go awry and this has led in many cases to conflict.

Not always to armed conflict, it could be trade wars for example, but the underlying trend could always be war.

China's tough guy

Xi Jinping likes to promote himself as a fair man it seems at international meetings or visits to foreign nations, but let that not fool you. Xi now knows he is head of the second largest economy on the planet with a massive military to boot.

At a recent military parade in China, he stood in an open top vehicle taking the salute of the armed forces showing China is not to be messed with. For all the market economy success of China, the country is still a Communist country. Not old school, granted, like North Korea, but nevertheless, the Communist party is in full control and Xi will make sure this is always the case.

Xi is a dyed in the wool Communist at the end of the day and a hard one at that.