Op-eds

The Obama and Xi Meeting: Op-Ed by Dean Bhaskar Chakravorti

The Huffington Post

Bhaskar Chakravorti is a Senior Associate Dean at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University.

The Obama and Xi Meeting: Time for Some California Dreamin'

For the first time in their roles as leaders of the largest and second largest economies in the world, Presidents Obama and Xi will meet on June 7-8 in California. The meeting agenda for the two most powerful men on earth is already looking rather nightmarish for their handlers as it may involve a raft of rather difficult conversations.

For starters, there has been an unprecedented string of damning reports suggestive of a cyber Cold War underway between China and the U.S. First, the computer security firm, Mandiant, documented widespread incidents of Chinese hackers infiltrating the computer systems of American corporations, such as Coca Cola and EMC -- even those of the New York Times. More recently, the Pentagon released a report that the Chinese government had directed cyber-hacking to infiltrate U.S. diplomatic, economic and defense industry networks last year. And now, a recent IP Commission Report on intellectual property theft co-chaired by Former Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman finds that China is responsible for up to 80 percent of U.S. intellectual property theft, amounting to about $300 billion in lost exports -- equivalent to all of America's trade balance with Asia.

All of this comes atop of multiple geopolitical tensions with the two countries at opposite ends: President Obama's "Asia pivot" as a direct challenge to China's growing influence in the region; the nuclear stalemate with China and the U.S. allied with opposing sides in the Korean peninsula; and China's territorial incursions against American allies, including Japan, the Philippines and India.

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