The first summit meeting between Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping is the beginning of a process, punctuated by serious issues, separated by distinctly different negotiating styles. With these points in mind, the new American president can use the Mar-a-Lago meeting to set the tone and tenor of U.S.-China relations, kick start fairer trade, highlight some critical security priorities, and avoid falling prey to either the hubris that can afflict any summiteer or the traps set by Chinese tactics.
For all the buildup of this inaugural meeting, it is important to remember that diplomacy has more to do with managing relations over time than producing singular and monumental deals. The Mar-a-Lago summit represents the opening gambit—not the closing move—between Presidents Trump and Xi.
The U.S.-China informal encounter brings together the leaders of the most consequential of major-power relations in this decade and decades to come. But just because it is important does not mean it will lead to either a breakthrough or a breakdown in bilateral relations. A single summit seldom achieves the lofty altitude intimated by the word.
Read the full article at The National Interest.
More from CNAS
VideoThe Pitch: A Competition of New Ideas
On June 17, 2020, the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) hosted its premier event to elevate emerging and diverse voices in national security. Sixteen applicants made t...
By Richard Fontaine, Michèle Flournoy, Michael J. Zak, Loren DeJonge Schulman, Shai Korman, Carrie Cordero, Kristine Lee, David Zikusoka & Cole Stevens
PodcastRichard Fontaine appears on Utrikespodden med Axel och Zebulon
A bonus episode of the pod, all in English! Axel talks to Richard Fontaine, who is the CEO of Washington-based think Center for A New American Security (CNAS) and a former for...
By Richard Fontaine
CommentaryHow to Prevent a War in Asia
Amid all the uncertainty about the world that will follow the pandemic, one thing is almost sure to be true: tensions between the United States and China will be even sharper ...
By Michèle Flournoy
TranscriptTranscript from America and the Post-Pandemic World
At the launch of the CNAS 2020 National Security Conference on Wednesday, June 17, 2020, CNAS CEO Richard Fontaine and Axios China Reporter Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian discussed ...
By Richard Fontaine & Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian