US-China Summit: High Stakes, Casual Vibe

Obama meeting with Xi Jinping at California estate
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 7, 2013 8:06 PM CDT
US-China Summit: High Stakes, Casual Vibe
President Obama shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands in Rancho Mirage, Calif.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Cyber-spying, trade, North Korea, US military maneuvers—there's no shortage of big issues for President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping to tackle tonight and tomorrow during their informal summit in Southern California. But the biggest emphasis is on establishing "personal chemistry," reports the Wall Street Journal. The leaders will have six hours of talks, a private dinner, and walks around the Sunnylands estate in Rancho Mirage to try to achieve it. As the summit opened this evening, Obama said he hoped it would establish a "new model of cooperation" between the nations, and Xi used the phrase "a new model of major country relations," reports Politico.

China's alleged cyber-spying is likely at the top of the US agenda, and the Guardian reinforced the point earlier today with a story saying that Obama ordered up a list of potential overseas cyber-targets last year. It doesn't include specifics, but any such list would likely have plenty of Chinese targets. (The AP doesn't think the story is bombshell material—it notes that the White House released a declassified version of the president's directive in January.) As for the summit, the New York Times has the unusual detail that while Obama will be sleeping on site at the estate in Rancho Mirage, Xi and his officials will bunk at a nearby hotel, apparently worried about their rooms being bugged. (More President Obama stories.)

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