BEIJING — Chinese leader Xi Jinping meets U.S. President Obama this week as the head of a more confident China following a decade of explosive economic growth.
Xi stopped first in the Caribbean and Latin America, where he presented Beijing as an important partner and handed out nearly $4 billion in loans.
China’s newfound self-assurance stems from an economic expansion that saw it pass Japan as the world’s second-biggest economy and pass the United States as the biggest trader, a status that is gradually bringing political influence.
One sign of China’s confidence may be Xi’s itinerary: He meets Obama on Friday and Saturday only after stops in Trinidad, Costa Rica and Mexico. And the summit is at an estate in California, not the ceremony-laden White House.