Over June 7–8, 2013, U.S. president Barack Obama hosted Chinese president Xi Jinping for a summit at Sunnylands, the serene Annenberg estate in Rancho Mirage, California. The Xi-Obama summit, an informal, shirt-sleeve event that took place early on in the two leaders’ new administrations, was unprecedented in both its style and timing, and indeed was a rare occurrence in U.S.-China relations in the three decades since normalization. By shrugging off diplomatic formalities, the Xi-Obama summit demonstrated the maturity of the U.S.-China relationship.
Some scholars have recently argued that “China has surpassed the United States and become the top industrialized country”. However, this claim is not supported by objective assessments of significant facts. By certain criteria, China has exceeded the United States in the scale of manufacturing. In terms of competitiveness, however, China is still far behind, writes Jin Bei.
While North Korea has traditionally been a thorn in America’s side, Michael Justin Lee posits that reports Kim Jong-un has resumed the country’s nuclear development program could provide a rare opportunity to boost military-to-military relations between the United States and China, the DPRK’s long-time ally.
Although the US is firmly established in the region, many Pacific countries are concerned about US stability and consistency in policy. China’s recent confident actions have allowed for relations with ASEAN to grow and may have begun to act to supplant the US role. But do the two powers need to be competing or can they work in tandem?
In the wake of President Xi and Premier Li’s visits to Southeast Asia, China not only underscored its diplomatic commitment to the region but also elevated its partnerships with neighboring countries to more strategic ones. Zhai Kun examines in which ways the new Chinese leadership “upgraded” the China-ASEAN relations.
President Barack Obama and China’s President Xi Jinping shake hands before their bilateral meeting at the G-20 Summit on Friday, Sept. 6, 2013, in St. Petersburg, Russia.
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