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Obama-Xi summit shows the danger of personal diplomacy
Obama-Xi summit shows the danger of personal diplomacy

Since President Richard Nixon's visit to China in February 1972, American presidents have hoped that building personal rapport with Chinese leaders would strengthen bilateral ties and win political points at home. While Nixon's trip was a diplomatic triumph, later presidents have not been so successful. They usually discover that this type of Sino-American interaction has little impact on the relationship. President Barack Obama's recent effort to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping fits this pattern. At the start of his presidency, Mr. Obama opted for a low-key approach. In 2009 Mr. Obama and then-President Hu Jintao announced the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic...

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