This weekend, China's new president Xi Jinping will conclude a tour of the Western Hemisphere by meeting with President Obama in California in an informal summit. The leaders of the Pacific Rim's two most powerful countries will discuss issues of mutual concern, including our economic interdependence.
The pattern is well-established -- China wants our markets and we want their stuff. There are incentives for our businesses to seek out China's low-cost manufacturing. We want their investment and they want our resources. We sell our enterprises, we run up our debt, they buy the debt, and we run down our economy in an endless chase for near-term gain. This feeds a dysfunctional interdependence that is further aggravated by fundamental disagreements stemming from different world views.
Our national conscience and our national interest should be inseparable. In good conscience, we cannot say that all is well with the U.S. -- China relationship.
Earlier this week, I gave a speech before the U.S. House of Representatives about the dysfunction in the bilateral relationship as well as the devastating persecution that has distorted China's demographic balance and suppressed democratic ideals. I invite you to click here to watch my speech.
China has an opportunity to join the responsible community of nations and help create conditions for long-term stability in our relationship and in the world at large. China's realization of the dire consequences of a renegade North Korea has, of late, been helpful. Hopefully the meeting in California will wade into discussions - beyond just economics and security - into that which is fundamentally human, the dignity and rights of all.