Xi Jinping is meeting with President Barack Obama at a most auspicious of times, at The Annenberg Retreat, Rancho Mirage, California.
China currently bankrolls much of the American economy while America’s foreign policy is beginning to focus more on the Asia Pacific region, China’s backyard. This is happening at a time when the United States is accusing the Chinese of ‘cyber espionage’.
Both countries constitutes the world’s largest economies. Over time, Chinese investment in the military and defence increased massively and now is second only to that of the United States.
China is seen in many quarters as providing the counter-balance to American world domination, especially at the United Nations were severally both nations have been on opposing sides of UN resolutions.
Many feel that China is the next sole world power in waiting and fear what it would be like if that possibility becomes reality considering China’s Human Rights records.
I’m guessing that there’ll be lots of sweet words to be shared between both presidents with little or no efforts to use strong words with each other even though separately and at different fora both of them may have expressed hurtful words at the policies of their different nations. They will do this in keeping with the norms of diplomacy especially before the press. The core of their concerns however will be dealt with by their foreign secretaries and diplomats.
Who would have thought that China will be where she is today? Whatever you may think towards that nation, you can’t help but admire the visions of their forebears and the tenacity with which past and present leaders pursued and continue to pursue this dream. You will understand Chinese reluctance to wholly change from a path that have brought them this far to one they are quite unsure of, even though we must accept that there’s been some changes, the problem is the speed of such changes especially regarding Human Rights.
China has has come of age and is no country to be dictated to or brushed aside, it is therefore very important to seek her view on issues and respect them as they state them.
It is important for China and the United States to keep talking to avoid a future conflict over the Asia Pacific region, where America has interests as well as allies especially at this time when most of the countries there are involved in one dispute or the other over land and sea with China, and with some of those countries being allies of the United States.
The North Korean Issue is also one for which the help of China is paramount as it is the only country North Korea deals with, and maybe listens to. It is to the credit of the Chinese that the situation in the Korean Peninsula has not so far boiled over. It is hoped that China will continue to play this role and if possible arm-twist the leaders of North Korea to rethink their oft-bellicose rhetoric and senseless provocative actions.
China’s profile in Africa is also on the rise and sometimes challenge American economic, political and diplomatic interests in Africa. Stepping into areas and situations the Americans pulled away from out of principles.
And this is not saying the Chinese are unprincipled, but rather they hardly consider a country’s record before making business decisions.
There many areas where the United States and China see eye to eye, and many more where they could easily bash themselves over, but it is expected that this summit between the two leaders will help strengthen their areas of convergence and blunt areas of divergence.
I hope they’ll come to an amicable settlement over Syria, and come to an understanding that will see an end to the conflict and loss of lives. Expectedly, China would love for President Bashar Al-Assad to remain in power but it would be nice if the Americans can bring them along the path of a political solution that will see a future Syria without Assad, then that will be nice.
It will be too much to expect that the Tibetan issue will be a top agenda at this summit, it will probably be discussed at the low levels by diplomats so as not to offend Chinese sensibilities but it will be unfair to leave it undiscussed. I hope the Americans can obtain assurances of the Chinese leadership’s sincerity to grant Tibet some form of autonomy in the near future.
The issue of chinese dissidents remain a sore point in the US-China relationship owing to the fact that most of them have found a home and their voice in the United States. One hopes that the Chinese in moving towards a sole world power status will understand that opposition and the nurturing as well as the asserting of contrary views building up against such, are some of the prices to pay for such ambitions and a great power will do well to accomodate such in the limits civility provides.
I hope the outcome of this summit will be such that’ll bring mankind much good and probably moreso to the citizens of both countries, since that is the primary responsibility of both presidents meeting for this summit.