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A Chinese-West divide over the Xi-Obama summit

News   •   Jun 10, 2013 08:42 GMT

Chinese and US Presidents Xi Jinping and Barack Obama spent eight hours together over Friday and Saturday in an informal effort to bring the two countries closer together. While this seems to have been successful, there is a clear divide in what the two sides wanted out of the meeting.

For China, the primary goal had been to establish a ' new type of power relationship'. With one eye on history, Beijing is aware of the precedent of a rising power ending up in a war with the incumbent main player in the international system. There are signs that the parties are aware of the lessons and will hopefully be heeded.

From Sparta and Athens to a unified Germany in Europe in the late 19th Century, great power conflict has been a constant theme. "The building out of this so-called new relationship -- a new model of relations between great powers -- is the effort to ensure that doesn't happen," US National Security Advisor Tom Donilon said.

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