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Top Five Issues President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping Should Discuss

A Chinese man adjusts a China flag before a news conference attended by Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing (REUTERS/Feng Li).

President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping will meet in California later this week, where they are scheduled to hold in-depth meetings on a wide range of issues in the U.S.-China relationship. Brookings experts identify the top five topics the two leaders should discuss: cybersecurity, North Korea, China's foreign investment, China's new government and East and South China Seas dispute.

1. Cybersecurity

All countries engage in some form of spying, but China’s cyber-spying on American industries is especially threatening. If China refuses to curtail the practice, Ian Wallace explains, the U.S.-Sino relationship could be profoundly undermined.

Cyber-security: Putting China on Notice

2. North Korea

North Korea’s brinksmanship is disturbing to the region and problematic for the Chinese government, which is often asked to calm the country down. China agrees that North Korea needs to change, notes Jonathan Pollack, director of the China Center at Brookings.

North Korea: China's Problem

3. China's Foreign Investment

China’s foreign investment is staggering and continues to grow. China’s dollars also buy political influence around the world and could even hinder U.S. industrial growth. It may be unsettling but there’s little the U.S. can do. Eswar Prasad has the details.

China's Foreign Investment: Purse Strings and Political Power

4. China's New Government

The tension between the U.S. and China is largely fueled by their respective desire to reach the same goal: they both want to be the world’s preeminent power; but Cheng Li says this isn’t as ominous as it sounds.

The U.S. and China: Mutual Respect, Mutual Fear

5. East and South China Seas Dispute

Maritime rights have been a long-festering problem affecting several countries in the East Asian region. It’s an issue that can destabilize the neighborhood or the world and could possibly lead to war as Richard Bush, director of the Center for Northeast Asian Policy Studies, explains.

East and South China Seas Disputes

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