China and the US are the world’s biggest economies accounting for one third of the global GDP. Two-way trade is predicted to surpass 500 billion USD this year. In this context, any minor change in their economic or financial system will affect the world economy. As permanent members of the UN Security Council, China and the US play an important role in balancing international relations and their consensus is of paramount importance in settling disputes in any part of the world. China and the US are also the biggest economies in the Asia-Pacific region, which is considered to be the world’s striking force for development. Both play a central role in forming political and economic strategies in this region and decision-making in world’s future. From any angle, China-US relations are always the focus of global attention.
However, China-US relations have undergone highs and lows with the shift in security strategy from West to East. Competing with one another has created a new geographical, political and security spiral in Asia-Pacific, sparking many hot spots in the region and leading to an arms race among several countries. While Washington has deployed its policy of rebalancing and expanding its influence in Asia-Pacific, Beijing has been trying to increase its influence in Latin-America, the backyard of the US. China’s intention is clearly demonstrated by President Xi Jinping’s tour of Trinidad and Tobago, Costa Rica and Mexico in May. The visits took place a few days after President Obama received President U Thein Sein of Myanmar, a country greatly influenced by China. President Xi Jinping’s tour reflected China’s willingness to expand relations with smaller countries apart from world powers like the US. Interestingly, the Chinese President’s visit to Trinidad and Tobago took place just a few days after US Vice President Joe Biden’s visit to this country.
Network security has been one of the issues that harmed China-US relations in recent years. The Director of the National Computer Network Emergency Response technical Team Coordination Center of China on Wednesday said Beijing has a huge archive of data proving US made cyber attacks on China. The announcement is considered retaliatory to accusations by the US Defense Department in early May. The Pentagon released its annual report to Congress called Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2013, which accused the Chinese government and army of their cyber attacks on the US. The report also said that in 2012 a number of computer systems in the world including the US were compromised and the government and army of China could have been held accountable in some cases. Differences over network security, which has been a barrier in bilateral cooperation, will be a topic for discussion at the summit between President Obama and President Xi Jinping.
Analysts predict that the two presidents will discuss differences over network security, trade balance, the exchange rate of the Chinese Yuan, security and maritime safety in the East Sea and the East China Sea, North Korea’s nuclear issue, and strategic trust, which has not been solidified in bilateral relations. During the two-day summit, President Xi Jinping is expected to demonstrate the image of China’s new leader, confident in relations with the US amid China’s efforts to expand its foreign policy with all countries and regions. In turn, Washington will become better acquainted with the leader who will rule China in the next years. At the same time, this summit will serve to calm allies in Asia-Pacific about a stable and peaceful future through improved China-US relations, a major political axis in the world arena in the 21st century.