The United States and China are meeting this week to talk about military and economic policy, but the headlines leading up to the talks have not been encouraging. Visiting the Philippines during a clash in the South China Sea, top American officials reaffirmed the alliance with Manila. And a Chinese activist escaped house arrest and briefly took shelter at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, after which China demanded an apology from the U.S.
Do these clashes point to a larger conflict? Are the U.S. and China headed toward a cold war?