It’s too early to tell whether President Barack Obama’s new approach to China will be more successful than his predecessor’s. But this week’s high-level dialogue in Washington underlined how the balance of power is shifting.
The U.S. side, determined to be more respectful and less confrontational, tiptoed around the sensitive issue of China’s currency, avoiding any public appeal for an upwards revaluation in the yuan.
There was a passing reference to the rights of China’s ethnic and religious minorities, but no sign the other side would take any more notice of foreign interference in its internal affairs than it has in the past.
Not was there any evidence the Chinese and Americans were any closer on issues from climate change to how to deal with countries like North Korea and Sudan.
The Chinese, though, seemed less circumspect, more confident even in their public statements. Washington, they argued, should rein in its budget deficit and refrain from flooding the world with dollars.