President Obama gears up for summit with China’s Xi Jinping

AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File
AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File
Susan Walsh

President Obama is set to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping this weekend for a two-day summit at the Annenberg retreat in the California desert. Could bypassing the usual state visit fanfare help reboot the U.S.-China relationship? Here’s the take from Friday’s Andrea Mitchell Reports on msnbc:

Watch Andrea Mitchell’s interview with The Atlantic’s James Fallows and Chris Johnson of the Center for Strategic and International Studies: 

“I think the major tier issue is, it’s important on the Chinese side that these leaders actually talk with each other and a chance for the president–the U.S. president–to register the cyber issue,” The Atlantic’s James Fallows told Andrea Mitchell Friday. “[It’s] complex of course because of the NSA issues for the last couple of days in the U.S. but it’s becoming an increasingly volatile point of contention between the U.S. and China.”

“In terms of what we’re looking to see, I think the challenge for President Obama here is how does he press for progress on these key substantive issues: cybersecurity, let’s not forget North Korea–without appearing to kind of undermine what the summit is supposed to be about, which is strategic discussion, high-level, and informal,” Johnson told Mitchell. “You know, you don’t want to take the risk of having Xi Jinping come away from this thinking perhaps somehow he was ambushed by the president, and you know forced to talk about these issues and the nitty-gritty details rather than that big strategic how do-we-move-the-relationship-forward.”

Watch Andrea Mitchell’s interview with New Jersey Congressman Chris Smith, the top House Republican on the Congressional Executive Commission on China: 

“My hope is that the president will make a very serious and robust effort to call for the release of political and religious prisoners,” Smith told Mitchell, citing the torture of Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng’s nephew, Chen Kegui.

President Obama gears up for summit with China's Xi Jinping