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China-US relations: Will it turn for the better?

By Wei Zongyou ( Updated: 2015-09-15 16:32

China-US relations: Will it turn for the better?

US President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping rest during a tour at the Annenberg Retreat, California, June 8, 2013. [Photo/Xinhua]

President Xi Jinping will fly to the US to meet with US President Barack Obama and attend the United Nation's 70th Anniversary of WWII during the week-long visit from September 22 to 28. This will be Xi Jinping's fourth visit to the US, and his first state visit as President. Xi Jinping and Obama are expected to talk on a wide range of issues of mutual interests.

President Xi's visit to the US is against a background of growing distrust and competition between the two global economic leaders. The US was alarmed by President Xi's remarks at the fourth Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA) held in Shanghai in May, 2014. President Xi said, "In the final analysis, it is for the people of Asia to run the affairs of Asia, solve the problems of Asia and uphold the security of Asia. The people of Asia have the capability and wisdom to achieve peace and stability in the region through enhanced cooperation."

This was viewed by some American analysts as Asian Monroe Doctrine targeted against US alliance system in Asia. The US views with great concern China's efforts to establish the BRICS Bank, AIIB, and the "One Belt, One Road" economic initiatives, which is understood to try to undermine the US dominant international financial order and to counteract against US Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) proposal.

The US is also frustrated by China's increasingly "assertive" foreign policy in South China Sea, where China "bullies" Vietnam and the Philippines in maritime disputes. The US was also outraged when news leaked that a source from China was allegedly behind the recent hacking of the US Office of Management and Personnel databases resulting in millions of federal workers' data breach. And the US government vowed to take measures against China in retaliation.

For China's part, it sees a growingly unfriendly America. Since the Obama administration's pivot to Asia, the US has become much more aggressive against China. The US strengthened its relations with Asian allies and upgraded its military ties with Japan, Australia, and the Philippines to enhance its military presence in Asia. It also expanded its security partnerships with India, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia, to wave a dense web of security against China.

In China-Japan's disputes on Diaoyu/Senkaku Island, President Obama and other senior officials unequivocally declared that the disputed island is under the cover of US-Japan security treaty and accused China of trying to change the status quo. In the South China Sea maritime disputes, in addition to diplomatic support, US provided military assistance to Vietnam, the Philippines, among others, to help them build their maritime military to counteract China.

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