National Commentaries

A number of commentators in the United States and China argued that the summit meeting between Barack Obama and Xi Jinping in Sunnylands in early June represented a potential turning point in US-China relations. The meeting was never intended to be that. As White House briefers emphasized, the point was for the two leaders to get to know each other and prepare for a hard slog working through tough issues ranging from North Korea to cyber-espionage. The relaxed setting and sunny smiles certainly sent the signal that the two leaders were ready to roll up their sleeves and solve problems together. The language of the two leaders in their joint press conference also quietly revealed the strikingly different visions each has for the future of the bilateral relationship and the future of order in East Asia.

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