Newspaper article International Herald Tribune

China Seeks to Recast Ties with the U.S

Newspaper article International Herald Tribune

China Seeks to Recast Ties with the U.S

Article excerpt

President Xi Jinping will press for more recognition from America in the military and economic spheres at his two-day California session next week with President Barack Obama, analysts say.

China's new president, Xi Jinping, took a hands-on approach this week while meeting with President Barack Obama's national security adviser to prepare the agenda for the California summit meeting between the two leaders next week.

He dispensed with the big upholstered chairs that have for decades been the signature of the Great Hall of the People and, seated opposite the American adviser, Tom Donilon, at a long, polished wooden table, got immediately to the point on Monday.

The relationship between the United States and China stands at a "critical juncture," Mr. Xi said, adding that it was time to explore "a new type of great power relationship."

Mr. Xi and Mr. Obama are scheduled to meet over two days at Sunnylands, an estate east of Los Angeles, in what is being billed as a get-to-know-you retreat for the two leaders as they define their countries' relationship.

Their wives, Michelle Obama and Peng Liyuan, will also be there, and a person familiar with the planning said the leaders would have plenty of time to talk informally, undistracted by the constant motion and public scrutiny of meetings in Washington.

Mr. Donilon wound up his two-day visit to Beijing on Tuesday night after meeting Gen. Fan Changlong, the vice chairman of the Central Military Commission, an indication that the mounting distrust between the American and Chinese militaries will be discussed in California.

In a public statement before the closed-door session with General Fan, Mr. Donilon repeated the Obama administration's desire for stronger strategic communications between the two militaries and for joint, rather than competitive, efforts to deal with regional problems in Asia.

Mr. Xi's blunt focus on a new relationship with the United States puts that notion at the center of the summit meeting, Chinese and American analysts said, although few were sure what specifically Mr. Xi, who is regarded as a man of big ambitions and a friend of the military, had in mind.

Even before becoming president in March, Mr. Xi mentioned the desire for a new relationship, alluding to it on his visit to Washington as vice president in February 2012.

Officials from the Foreign Ministry met this year with professors of international relations in Beijing to discuss how best to define the "great power relationship," but no one knew how to flesh it out, several professors said.

Nicholas Lardy, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, said both sides were "struggling to conceptualize what a new type of great power relationship might be."

It is a given, Chinese and American analysts say, that Mr. …

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