A New Model for the U.S.-China Relationship

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In February 2012, during a Washington, D.C., visit, then Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping raised the prospect of “a new type of relationship between major countries in the 21st century.” As State Councilor Dai Bingguo said about the concept, “China and the U.S. must create the possibility that countries with different political institutions, cultural traditions and different economic systems can respect and cooperate with each other.”

A year later, President Barak Obama and President Xi Jinping conducted an informal, “shirt-sleeve” summit in southern California to establish a solid working relationship between the two presidents. Then National Security Adviser Tom Donlion described the challenge facing President Obama and President Xi at the summit as “turning the aspiration of charting a new course for our relationship into a reality and to build out … the new model of relations between great powers.”

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