Obama’s Pivot to Asia shaping Xi Jinping’s upcoming U.S. visit

President Barack Obama with Chinese PresidentXi Jinping in Beijing in 2014.— File Photo: AP  

President Barack Obama’s “Pivot to Asia” doctrine, and China’s activism in the South China Sea are looming over President Xi Jinping’s visit to the United States next week.

The four-day visit, also high on economic content will start on September 22, the Chinese foreign ministry announced on Wednesday. But, behind the scenes, a back-and-forth is in full flow between the two countries to attain a psychological high ground, ahead of the visit.

For several weeks Washington has been accusing Beijing of cyber-theft. Besides, the acquittal last Friday of Xi Xiaoxing, a Chinese-born professor of physics, accused of siphoning sensitive U.S. technology to China, also highlights the lingering unease in the prickly relations between the two countries. Last year, espionage charges were dropped against Sherry Chen, a meteorologist for lack of evidence.

Analysts say that the Chinese have been alarmed at the accumulation of the U.S. forces in the Pacific, under President Obama’s “Pivot to Asia” or Rebalance doctrine.

They perceive the policy as a thinly veiled attempt aimed at the “containment” of a rising China. Despite all the friction, Xinhua quoted President Xi as saying that China was committed to build a new model of major-country relations with the U.S., “featuring no-conflict and no-confrontation, mutual respect, and win-win cooperation.”