Where the U.S. and China Can Agree

Commentary | February 14, 2012

As China's presumptive next leader visits Washington, EWI's Graham Webster argues that the United States and China have more in common than many analysts believe.

China-US relations may dominate news coverage this week as the country's presumptive next leader - Xi Jinping - visits the United States. The two countries have conflicting interests and ideologies in currency valuation, military developments in East Asia, and how to deal with the violence in Syria. In an election year, US politicians from both parties can be expected to heighten criticism of China. But as discussions begin between US President Barack Obama and Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping, there are important areas of agreement between the two countries

Differences are real, as should be expected between two large countries with large economies, separated by large differences in development and history. The notion of simple competition between a powerful United States and a rising China, however, does not withstand scrutiny in view of the broad and important areas of agreement and common interest. In an era of global trade and increasingly pervasive digital connectivity, peoples and economies are not so easy to divide along geographic lines.

Three areas of agreement - Iran, clean energy, and cybersecurity - might not get much attention during Xi Jinping’s US tour and the coming political season, but they reveal a change of mindset needed to maintain peaceful ties across the Pacific.

Read the full article at Al Jazeera English.

Image credit: Creative Commons photo via nznationalparty.