Xi’s U.S. visit aims at cooperation

Content from the Brookings-Tsinghua Public Policy Center is now archived. Since October 1, 2020, Brookings has maintained a limited partnership with Tsinghua University School of Public Policy and Management that is intended to facilitate jointly organized dialogues, meetings, and/or events.

Li Cheng is the director of the John L. Thornton China Center at the Brookings Institution think tank.

During an interview with CRI, he listed several issues the two sides will talk about.

“Each country has a different basket of issues. Some overlap and some may have different sequence or priority. For United States, they were covering four issues, cyber security, South China Sea, East China Sea maritime issues, intellectual property rights, BIT, and issues of human rights, NGO and civil society. For the Chinese side, it emphasize economic cooperation”

The expert also points out that the talks will help to clarify some misunderstandings between the two countries, and undermine some of the worries or unfounded fears about a more confrontational relationship.

China bashing is a commonly noticed phenomenon in some U.S. political circles. With the campaign season underway, Li Cheng says Americans should put it into perspective and be aware of the impact this kind of negative dialogue can have on the future bilateral relations.

“The US-China relationship is a complicated one because of its complicity. I think politician needs to be cautious. If China bashing goes too far, there will be a back lash. And to be honest, in the international community people, are very, very cynical about this kind of bashing because, it not, it’s really not good for both countries. It undermines US interests. Really quite misleading, but therefore, I think we should put it into perspective. I think sophisticated Chinese understand that this is campaign language.”

In the last three years, President Xi and President Obama have had two summits, and they have also had a couple discussions on the sidelines of multilateral meetings.

When asked about prospective achievements during the upcoming visit, Li said it is not easy to predict the “headline news” during the visit, but he expected that Xi and his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama will reach broad consensus on cyber security.

“There will be discussions about market access including IT companies and they will seriously discuss cyber security. China is not going to avoid this issue. China’s interest is to establish an international norm in that area. So there will be a new agreement, a new kind of change.”

Li also says other issues like corrupt Chinese officials hiding in the US will also be included in the talks, and this is a second area to emphasize cooperation.

The expert says that the United States and China, the two largest economies in the world, will continue to make strides in their cooperation on the economic front, as global economic re-balancing requires China’s participation.

This interview was originally published by CRI