China Seminar | 10 September 2015

Xi and Obama Meet: Observations on a More Competitive but Vital Relationship

James A. Kelly James A. Kelly

The relationship of China and U.S. has emerged as the world’s most critical. It is also unprecedented in its complexity. The rise of certain tensions have caused some to question whether a cooperative relationship has moved beyond being competitive to a condition in which it is becoming adversarial. At the same time a powerful paramount leader of China – perhaps matching Deng or even Mao in influence – has taken office at Zhongnanhai in Beijing. This September brings China’s leader, Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the Communist Party of China and President of the PRC to Washington for his first State Visit hosted by President Barack Obama. James Kelly will seek to stimulate discussion about some of the possible outcomes from the visit, as well as comment on the many of the larger ongoing issues. As a frequent speaker and writer about economic and political issues of East Asia and the Pacific, James Kelly has been a think tank head and businessman. Before retiring, he was the Assistant Secretary of State (East Asian and Pacific Affairs) from 2001-2005, under President Reagan (1983-1989) as Special Assistant for East Asia (NSC Staff), and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense. Mr. Kelly was past President (1994-2001) of the Pacific Forum, CSIS, and is the current President of EAP Associates, LLC and a Trustee of The Asia Foundation. He is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, National War College and Harvard Business School (MBA), and retired in 1982 as a Captain in the U.S. Navy. He is now a member of the Advisory Board of Marvin & Palmer, Inc. an equity management firm in Delaware and lives in Honolulu with his wife, Sue.