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President Obama and Chinese President prepare for summit

Roger Caldwell

Roger Caldwell

President Obama and Chinese President prepare for summit

By Roger Caldwell

The new Chinese President XI Jinping and President Obama will meet at a private estate in California to develop a good working relationship, and start to resolve their critical problems. The two superpowers have grown to distrust each other, and the new Chinese President was elected in November 2012, and took over administrative duties in March 2013.

This president has a good relationship with Vice President Joe Biden, who he accompanied to western China on a visit in 2011. President Jinping speaks English, sent his daughter to Harvard, and has made frequent visits to America. There are a variety of problems that must be addressed, but it is clear that the two presidents respect and admire each other.

It is very interesting that this summit will be held in California, away from the pomp and glitter of Washington D.C. In the last month, there have been numerous meetings between the different delegations to prepare for the summit. Last week Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel delivered a speech in Beijing, where he discussed the threat of cyberattacks, and working to improve military relationships with China.

“That’s really the whole point behind closer military-to-military relationships. We don’t want miscalculations and misunderstandings and misinterpretations. And the only way you do that is you talk to each other,” says Defense Secretary Hagel.

At this particular point, both countries are interested in strengthening U.S. and China relations, but during the speech Hagel claimed that the Chinese government and military are stealing data from the U.S. government and corporate networks. It is obvious that the two countries are publicly criticizing each other. China is concerned with the Pentagon, because the U.S. is now committed to strengthening its military, economic, and diplomatic partnerships in the Asian-Pacific region.

There appears to be a chess game between the two countries and China is making its presence felt around the globe in third world countries. During the Chinese President’s trip to America, he will spend time in Trinidad and Tobago, and he will meet with other Caribbean leaders. The Chinese are also developing stronger relationships with other South American countries, and they have the money to help finance major economic projects.

“There are a lot of problems between China and the U.S. that aren’t going to be easy to solve. The hope, therefore, is that a way can be established so that at times of crisis, dialogue will prevail based on trust and the personal relationship between the leaders,” said Zhu Feng, deputy director of the Center for International and Strategic Studies at Peking University.

There are now in the U.S. over 400,000 Chinese students and in China there are almost 90,000 American students. On the educational level, the two countries will continue to collaborate and partner and the projects will increase.

But on the military level trust has dwindled, when U.S. planes bombed the Chinese Embassy in Yugoslavia in 1999, and in 2001 a Chinese fighter jet collided with a U.S. surveillance plane off southern China. Recently, there are claims that China employed cyperattacks to access data from nearly 40 Pentagon weapons programs, and almost 30 other defense technologies. The China Defense Ministry called the accusations faulty, and said they underestimated the Pentagon’s ability to protect its secrets.

The backdrop of this summit is intense and filled with political intrigue and power. President Obama and President Jinping have their work cut out for them and their countries. When the two superpowers sit down to resolve their differences the whole world will be watching.

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