Xi Jinping, Secretary General of the CPC Central Committee, Chairman of the Central Military Commission of the CPC, President of the People’s Republic of China and Chairman of the Central Military Commission of China.

The "informal" summit between President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping, the 7th and 8th June in California, will be set in the familiar Washingtonian warm family atmosphere, seasoned with smiles and jokes.

But when the TV cameras are off, the tone will change. Many burning issues are on the table.

The U.S., the world leader in foreign direct investment (FDI), have invested more than $ 55 billion in China (world premiere FDI destination), where U.S. corporations have increasingly relocated their manufacturing, including much of which is then imported back home.

In this way, however, the United States has accumulated a trade deficit with regard to China’s which in 2012 exceeded $ 315 billion, 20 billion more than in 2011. Chinese investment in the United States is much smaller, mainly because of restrictions: Chinese companies, for example, are allowed to invest in the food industry (a group from Shanghai has just bought the largest U.S. pork producer), but the telecommunications sector remains off limits. Washington also accuses China’s hackers of penetrating the American computer system, stealing data on twenty of the most advanced weapons systems.

The Chinese economy, gaining second rank in the world with a gross national income of almost half that of the United States, is more and more dynamic: not only is its productive capacity impressive (it exports each year a billion mobile phones and 20 billion items of clothing), but it also invests increasingly in countries of strategic importance to the United States.

The $6000 billion spent on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan having left it heavily indebted, the United States now sees China as economically more and more present in these countries. In Iraq, she not only buys about half of the oil produced, but, through state-owned companies, it invests heavily in the oil industry, more than 2 billion dollars annually. A purpose specific airport was built around the Iranian border to transport Chinese technical personnel.

The winning card of Chinese companies is that, unlike the U.S. company ExxonMobil and other Western companies, they accept contracts for the exploitation of deposits under more favorable conditions for the Iraqi state, not relying on profit but on having access to Iranian oil, of which China has become the world’s largest importer.

In Afghanistan, Chinese companies are currently investing in the mining sector especially after Pentagon geologists discovered rich deposits of lithium, cobalt, gold and other metals.

Struggling more and more with economic competition, the U.S. throws its sword into the scales. On the eve of the summit, Secretary of Defense Hagel "reassured Asian allies facing Chinese military growth promising that, despite austerity, Washington will deploy in the Asia / Pacific region forces with the most advanced military technologies: laser-armed naval units, coastal combat ships, fighter aircraft, F-35s and others. Warships deployed in the Pacific, which now make up half of the hundred made (out of 283), will be increased later. Thus, Hagel emphasizes, the United States will retain a "decisive margin of military superiority."

Clinging to this, the "American" empire of the West tries to struggle against its decline.

Roger Lagassé