Some experts are calling Chinese President Hu Jintao's visit to Washington this month the most important meeting between U.S. and Chinese leaders in thirty years. Given the growing strains in the Sino-American relationship, former national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski has called for a joint declaration from the meeting that clearly outlines the principles that guide the relationship; defines common political, economic, social and security goals; and recognizes the critical importance of the partnership to the stability of an increasingly interdependent international system.
The question for National Security bloggers this week is: How would such a joint declaration read? Are there guiding principles for the Sino-American relationship on which both sides can agree? What are the common goals that unite them, and where is there fundamental divergence? How can differences be narrowed on issues as varied as human rights, China's support for North Korea, trade and exchange rates, and China's perceived aggression in the South China Sea? Fundamentally, would an honest declaration reveal two countries that are drifting dangerously towards confrontation, or moving closer together in an international system that depends on both for its continued stability?