The result is that “the game plan for the Obama administration may be generally the same on this visit as it was for us in 2002, which was … to lower expectations for deliverables and focus on the relationship,” says Michael Green, who was the National Security Council’s senior director for Asian affairs when Chinese President Hu Jintao visited the Bush White House in 2002.
Yet the current situation means it will be “harder” than when Mr. Hu first visited “to invest in the relationship, emphasize the positive, [and] lower expectations,” says Mr. Green, now a senior Asia analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.
The stormier climate will test Xi, who will want to show his domestic audience that he can hold his own with the Americans even as he charms them. Xi, who will also visit Iowa and Los Angeles, is purported to be a fan of American culture.
Xi, who technically is being hosted by Vice President Joe Biden, is also expected to announce some sizable agricultural purchases while in the Midwest, in an effort to dent criticisms of China’s trade surplus with the US.