Chinese President Hu Jintao arrives in Washington for a state visit next week as the Obama administration’s thinking on the US-China relationship has evolved. Curry suggests that Obama may give greater prominence to human rights as he recalibrates relations with Beijing. She thinks freedom of expression should be the leitmotif of the summit. The summit provides an opportunity to contrast the weaknesses of the Chinese political system with the strengths of the American one. Aspects of the visit involving freedom of expression should be non-negotiable. If the Chinese side objects, the White House should be willing to cancel events of importance to Beijing’s protocol-obsessed leaders.
Currie is a senior fellow with the Project 2049 Institute.