Xi Jinping's Visit to Washington: The Results Exceed Expectations

Besides cyber security problems, the greatest uproar in the US was elicited by China's actions in the East China Sea and the South China Sea. Washington also keeps on the agenda the traditional "nuisances" – human rights, Tibet and Taiwan.

The information backdrop around China prior to Xi Jinping's visit to Washington was quite complicated. It even came to the point of urges to cancel the visit and impose sanctions on China in retaliation to "hacker attacks" on the US.

The anti-China hysteria is especially prevalent in the ranks of the Republican political opposition in the US in the context of the ongoing presidential race, as well as conservative media. However, the incumbent administration of Obama has to reckon with this position to avoid labels of "weakness" and "over-compromising" in the dialogue with Beijing.

Beijing, in its turn, puts forward other claims to Washington. For instance, according to some Chinese financiers, the world stock market crash was caused by the US Federal Reserve System's decision to tighten the monetary policy.

In this light, accent is put on the most controversial topics amid the issues the leaders are yet to discuss. Besides cyber security problems, the greatest uproar in the US was elicited by China's actions in the East China Sea and the South China Sea. Washington also keeps on the agenda the traditional "nuisances" – human rights, Tibet and Taiwan.

Xi Jinping refused to take cue from Americans, instead he used the visit to promote the concept of continuous development of "a new type of major power relations".

He succeeded to a certain extent. At least, the US did not demonstrate lenient attitude towards "achieving mutual respect, effectuation of cooperation and mutual benefits." It is a good thing Obama said that the US welcomed China's peaceful rise. "Stable and prosperous China meets the interests of Chinese people, the US and the international community." Many thanks to him for that.

Economy is one of the key pillars of the partnership between China and the US.

Trade turnover between China and the US in 2014 exceeded $555 billion for the first time, which is 227 times more than the volume in 1979, when the diplomatic relations between the two countries were established. The milestone of $1 trillion will be passed in 2024.

China backs US companies' foundation of regional headquarters and centers for research and engineering in China, encourages development of more and more medium and small-scale American enterprises in China.

In the next five years, China will have imported commodities worth $10 trillion, over 500 million Chinese will make visits abroad.

A huge slice of the "Chinese economic pie" will find itself on the American plate.

After the visit, Chinese leader Xi Jinping noted that collaboration between China and the US in the Asia-Pacific region takes a more predictable track.

Both states understand the need and show determination to maintain peace and stability in APAC.

In the midst of the tangible, though not completely justified, reasons for concerns of the international community that the region transformed into a battlefield of influence between China and the US, the recent agreement between the two states to deepen the dialogue on APAC affairs is satisfying, if not inspirational.

APAC is the key platform for cooperation between China and the US, and it is vital for global peace and development, because 40% of the world's population, 48% of world commerce and 57% of world industry reside in the region. APAC has made many breakthroughs in development, and its economic dynamic is constantly giving the global economic growth a boost.

That is why the Sino-American relations in APAC bear such significance. If it is positive, everyone will win, if negative, everyone will take a beating.

Notwithstanding the recent rumours around the South China Sea, the two states retain the fruitful cooperation in the region as a whole within the framework of APAC and the six-sided negotiations in such sectors as climate change, combating piracy and terrorism.

At the same time, it is easy to see the elements hindering collaboration between China and the US in the region. Some acts of Washington under the pretext of the strategy for "rebalancing of forces in APAC" have tangled the regional geopolitical structure and harmed the bilateral relations and harmony in APAC.

The root of the hindrances lies in the fact that Washington has not abandoned the obsolete Cold War mentality. But the so-called "threat" the US allegedly faces in Asia – the fear that China will eventually oust the United States from the region – is more of an American perception than reality.

The obstacles are surmountable. The most important task is to strengthen bilateral contacts, communication and mutual understanding. Moreover, both countries need to extend common interests and deepen their interdependence.

To cope with the "deficit of trust", China and the USA need to expand their military cooperation, intensify consultations on denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

In addition to that, the sides can transform the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement (TPP), where the US plays the "first violin", from a pit of potential confrontation into a tool for cooperation. The absence of China, the world's largest commodity trader, in the TPP has sparked speculations that the planet's top two economies compete for leadership in setting the rules.

During the current visit of Xi Jinping to the US, the idea took a more distinct shape. China and the US are obliged to keep the current positive dynamic to turn APAC into the field of cooperation for the common good and prevent its conversion into a boxing ring where all participants take hits.

Therefore, the results of Xi Jinping's visit to the US offer a lot more positive prospects than negative.

And the results have exceeded the expectations… mine at least.
Views expressed are of individual Members and Contributors, rather than the Club's, unless explicitly stated otherwise.