Trump's G20 Meeting with Xi a Crossroads for U.S.–China Policy
The consequences of President Trump’s meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20 summit in Argentina this weekend will extend far beyond trade. Whatever the president says for a domestic political audience or to calm markets will be watched closely, from Europe to Asia.
Why it matters: Any successful U.S. strategy to establish guardrails for China’s rise will rely heavily on U.S. allies, who are making their own calculations about American staying power and resolve. Many regional partners were disturbed by the optics of Trump's first meeting with Xi at Mar-a-Lago in April 2017 — after which Trump claimed to have "a terrific relationship with Xi" — and his visit to China that November, when he tweeted about his "unforgettable" time.
The Trump administration has called Beijing a "strategic competitor" and "a revisionist power," a marked change from the engagement of its predecessors. Vice President Pence has also taken on a prominent role confronting China’s political and economic influence and human-rights abuses.