These Issues Are Testing the U.S.-China Thaw

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken is meeting officials in China this week as disputes over wars, trade, technology and security are testing the two countries’ efforts to stabilize the relationship.

The United States is heading into an election year in which President Biden will face intense pressure to confront China’s authoritarian government and offer new protections for American businesses and workers from low-priced Chinese imports.

China is courting foreign investment to help its sluggish economy. At the same time, its leader, Xi Jinping, has been bolstering national security and expanding China’s military footprint around Taiwan and the South China Sea in ways that have alarmed its neighbors.

Mr. Biden and Mr. Xi have held talks to prevent their countries’ disputes from spiraling into conflict, after relations sank to their lowest point in decades last year. But an array of challenges could make steadying the relationship difficult.

Showdowns Over China’s Territory Claims

The United States has been pushing back against China’s increasingly assertive claims over swaths of the South China Sea and the self-governed island of Taiwan by building security alliances in Asia.

That effort has promptedmore concerns in Beijing that the United States is leading a campaign to encircle China and contain its rise.

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