China-US summit prospect not so bright

Sep 21, 2015, 08:30 am

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Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Barack Obama./ Source from Chinese news agency CNS

By Hong Soon-do, Beijing correspondent, AsiaToday - Chinese President Xi Jinping will arrive in the United States on Tuesday and hold a summit with U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House on Friday. The prospect of the summit, however, doesn't look bright due to numerous issues that have been building up. Moreover, the summit is likely to end without reaching an agreement on some issues.

This analysis is not an exaggeration looking at the growing tension between China and the United States over the issue of cyber security, which will be one of the biggest topics on the U.S.-China agenda. According to Western sources in Beijing on Sunday, China is likely to acknowledge that there were some hacking attacks from China against the U.S., as Chinese Foreign Affairs Minister Wang Yi previously said that China will eradicate all forms of cyber crime and defend cyber security of the United States. Depending on the situation, China may show its commitment to work together to prevent such cyber attacks. Obviously, it wouldn't be enough to satisfy the U.S., who wants a basic level of protection and a clear apology from China over a series of serious hacking attacks on its government and institutions.

The conflict over the issue of human rights in China is one of the key issues diving the two countries. It seems impossible to reach an agreement. China released human right activist Guo Yushan from police custody on September 14 in a move believed created to appease the United States. However, the U.S. still claims that there are many jailed political dissidents. The U.S. believes that the jailing of Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiabo, and the case of Tiananmen Square protestors who are still unable to return home, is an indication of China's dismal record on human rights abuses.

Moreover, the argument over the South China Sea territorial issue and the concept of the "new type of great power relations" still remain unresolved.

Of course, Xi and Obama will likely to reach a crucial agreement on certain issues, including the North Korean issue, Iran's nuclear issue, as well as counterterrorism and law enforcement issues. In addition, it's clear that the two leaders will point to a consensus on climate change and economic cooperation. There are enough reasons for Xi's active push towards his U.S. visit. Besides, there will be his first speech to the U.N. General Assembly on September 28, which is as important as the business of meeting Obama in Washington. This is why Xi's U.S. visit is seen as significant despite there seems little to expect from the Xi-Obama summit.  

#China-US summit #Xi Jinping #Barack Obama #UN speech #US visit 
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