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Resetting U.S.-China Relations

Nov 10 , 2014

President Obama arrived in Beijing on Monday for a meeting of the AsiaPacific Economic Cooperation forum. He will meet with China’s president, Xi Jinping, at length on Wednesday. The occasion is a vital opportunity for the two presidents to reset the relationship between the nations.

Since Mr. Obama and Mr. Xi last met, at the Sunnylands estate in Rancho Mirage, Calif., in June 2013, many analysts have been pessimistic about that relationship. China’s announcement of an “air defense identification zone” in the East China Sea last November, and ongoing disagreements in areas like computer crime, climate change and trade, have contributed to a climate of mistrust.

The two presidents should use their meeting on Wednesday to reassure each other about their nations’ strategic intentions and to ease suspicions that each government harbors toward the other. This will require candor on the part of both leaders.

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