A New Special Relationship

China and the United Kingdom Rekindle Their Ties

Chinese and British flags fly in London's Chinatown, Britain, October 2015. Suzanne Plunkett / Reuters

From a Chinese perspective, Chinese President Xi Jinping’s first state visit to the United States was a disappointment. Despite long planning by both countries’ officials, the trip was overshadowed by Pope Francis’s visit, Russia’s unexpected military intervention in the Syrian crisis, and the surprise resignation of U.S. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner. In the end, American media overlooked many of the positive results of the visit, including the U.S.-Chinese renewed dialogue on climate change, an agreement on cybersecurity, and Xi’s reassuring speech to the U.S. business community on China’s economic reforms.

Despite the disappointment, all eyes are now focused on China’s next state visit: on October 20, Xi will arrive in London at the invitation of Queen Elizabeth. His visit will include the usual symbolic perks—a stay at Buckingham Palace, a ride in a royal carriage, and an address

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