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.
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.
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.
Former Brookings Expert
Senior Fellow and Co-Director, Cybersecurity Initiative - New America
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.
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.
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.
For all of us who care about preventing an Iranian nuclear bomb, what’s the best way to keep preventing that? [The JCPOA is] not perfect, but it’s something. These conventions are never based on the premise that all the parties are telling the truth, it’s about enforcement mechanisms. No arms control agreement is based in trust.
Pompeo undoubtedly will rely on his shared political perspective and his personal relationship with the president, but given the way this president plays this role, it’s hard to see how you’re not going to have some degree of daylight.