Center for American Progress

Opportunities and Challenges for the U.S.–China Bilateral Summit
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Opportunities and Challenges for the U.S.–China Bilateral Summit

If President Xi shows up ready to clear the air and discuss options for addressing American concerns, that should lead to progress on areas of shared interest.

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idea_bulbChinese President Xi Jinping will soon arrive in the United States for a state visit, which will include a bilateral summit with President Barack Obama. President Xi will arrive at a challenging time. Under his leadership, Chinese leaders are grabbing every opportunity to push their nation forward, both domestically and internationally. On some issues, these leaders are pushing China in a direction that dovetails with U.S. interests, thus opening up new opportunities for cooperation. Where U.S.-China interests are not aligned, however, Beijing’s growing assertiveness is reheating old frictions and creating new ones.

The challenge facing the United States is how to maximize China’s growing value as a partner in some areas while simultaneously pushing back against unwelcome behavior in others. That balancing act has become more complicated in the run-up to Xi’s visit because recent Chinese actions—some constructive, others controversial—directly affect an unusually broad array of American interests.

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