The Middle Kingdom's Superpower Politics

Photograph by Peter Hapak for TIME

China's vigorous new President, Xi Jinping, is an unabashed promoter of what one could call Chinese exceptionalism--the idea that China has a special place in the community of nations. He has also talked about a "new type of great-power relationship" with the U.S. His entrance on the world stage comes at a time when President Obama is executing a "pivot" toward Asia in U.S. foreign policy. Now, as they sit down for an unprecedented round of one-on-one talks in California, it is possible that the two leaders will pave the way for a more candid and productive relationship between the world's...

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