Xi Jinping and Barrack Obama are due to meet at a summit in Beijing next month and experts are expecting discussions on combating the Islamic State to be the focal point of their meeting, according to South China Morning Post.
The summit will commence on November 12, the day after the conclusion of the Pacific Economic Forum, and the two leaders will have an opportunity to talk over a number of issues. Analysts anticipate that both Xi and Obama will be mainly looking to converse on matters that will strengthen ties between the two nations.
Jin Canrong, who is a professor of international relations at Beijing’s Renmin University, suggested that “Stabilising the bilateral relationship is a main goal for both countries. To achieve this goal, both sides will focus on cooperation measures that can lead to tangible results.”
Bonnie Glaser, a senior adviser for Asia at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, believes that China’s willingness to discuss combating terrorism is down to Beijing’s growing concern that terrorist groups in China are beginning to connect internationally. Many Uygurs are believed to be receiving training in the Middle East.
China has been witness to a number of terrorist attacks in the past year, prompting the government to approach the issue more purposefully. In March, 31 civilians were killed and over 140 people were injured after a Xinjiang separatist attack at Kunming train station. May then saw the deadliest terrorist attack in China since 2009 when 39 people were killed and 94 were injured in an attack at a market in Urumqi.
In addition to anti-terrorism, analysts are predicting Ebola and climate change to be among some of the other topics for discussion between Obama and Xi.
Issues surrounding Hong Kong however, are expected to be much further down the agenda, Jin added “Hong Kong does not have any strategic value for the US. What is more important is the stability of the bilateral ties.”
Glaser adds that Obama may been more keen to discuss Hong Kong if the situation in the Special Administrative Region were to deteriorate, however.
By Robert Ridley