A Fresh Start

Climate change offers a chance for the U.S. and China to forge a partnership

Illustration by Edel Rodriguez for TIME

Secretary of state Hillary Clinton is headed to China. The inclusion of Beijing on her first trip overseas suggests that she and the new U.S. President intend to make the People's Republic of China a keystone in the arch of America's foreign relations. Paradoxically, Clinton will be aided by the fact that President Barack Obama has never been to Beijing, has previously said relatively little about China and is thus viewed there as something of a blank slate. Although that has caused anxiety among Chinese officials, it may also be a virtue.

Somehow, the "China question" managed to slumber largely undisturbed...

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