Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping’s visit this week is an opportunity for the man who is likely to lead China from late 2012 to late 2022 to begin to develop the agenda for that decade with a president who may well serve until January 2017.
Yet this visit comes at a time of growing strategic distrust between China and the United States.
China, despite some problems, remains on a roll. Its economy has rapidly expanded to second-largest in the world, with gross domestic product continuing to advance annually in the high single digits. Its military budget has grown 10-plus percent a year for more than a decade, growth that is likely to continue for years.
Meanwhile, U.S. economic confidence and outcomes remain afflicted by the 2008-09 financial crisis, and our military is wrestling with budget cuts as we address our fiscal deficit.