Observers on both sides of the Pacific closely watched Chinese President Xi Jinping’s first state visit to the United States, taking place September 22-25, 2015. (He also visited the United Nations, leaving the United States on September 28.) At the close of the bilateral summit, Sheena Chestnut Greitens and Ambassador J. Stapleton Roy discussed the expectations, outcomes and key aspects of the Obama-Xi meetings, along with their implications for the U.S.-China relationship.

Sheena Chestnut Greitens is an assistant professor of Political Science at the University of Missouri and a non-resident senior fellow at the Center for East Asian Policy Studies at the Brookings Institution. She is also an asociate in research at the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies at Harvard University and a Public Intellectuals Program (PIP) fellow with the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations.

Ambassador J. Stapleton Roy retired from the Foreign Service in January 2001 after a career spanning 45 years with the U.S. Department of State.  A fluent Chinese speaker, Ambassador Roy spent much of his career in East Asia, where his assignments included Bangkok (twice), Hong Kong, Taipei, Beijing (twice), Singapore, and Jakarta.  He also specialized in Soviet affairs and served in Moscow at the height of the Cold War.  Ambassador Roy served as ambassador three times: in Singapore (1984-86), the People’s Republic of China (1991-95), and Indonesia (1996-99).  In 1996, he was promoted to the rank of career ambassador, the highest rank in the Foreign Service. Ambassador Roy’s final post with the State Department was as assistant secretary for Intelligence and Research. In January 2001, Ambassador Roy joined Kissinger Associates, Inc., a strategic consulting firm, as managing director.  For several years he was director of the Kissinger Institute on China and the United States at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars; he now serves as its distinguished scholar and founding director, emeritus.