Hu Jintao will be the guest of President Obama this week for what some US-China experts are calling the most important US visit by a Chinese leader since Deng Xiaoping’s groundbreaking trip in 1979. The intrigue then was around the opening-up of the communist giant. But some three decades later the focus is very different, as China becomes an increasingly active and self-confident player both in the international economy and on the global diplomatic stage. Here are seven key questions pertaining to US-China relations in light of President Hu's visit:
Obama says he wants to focus on jobs and the economy in 2011, and he will have an early opportunity to underscore that emphasis with Hu’s visit. Obama calls for a “rebalancing” of trade relations – currently China’s trade surplus with the US has ballooned to nearly $230 billion – so that the Chinese become bigger consumers of products “made in USA.”
Another key element for the US is improving Chinese respect for intellectual property rights. In the run-up to Hu’s visit, Chinese trade officials have promised tighter controls on the thefts of foreign innovations and violation of copyrights, but the administration wants more than promises.
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