From the Pope to Xi Jinping, changes are afoot.

From the Pope to Xi Jinping, changes are afoot.

“… I don’t think America really has a cyber doctrine. We don’t have a clear deterrence doctrine, where those who might attack would know there’s going to be a swift, certain & tough response.” – Senator Tim Kaine (on “Morning Joe”)

CYBERSECURITY. The Senator from Virginia, Tim Kaine, said on MSNBC on Thursday that as President Xi and Madame Peng Liyuan arrive in Washington, D.C., the United States Congress has a “queasy” feeling about U.S. – China relations. What Xi Jinping is bringing with him is cooperation on a “national program in 2017 that will limit and put a price on greenhouse gas emissions” in China. Conservatives will immediately think something’s up.

Mr. Xi will pledge to put in place a “green dispatch” program intended to create a price incentive for generating power from low-carbon sources, officials said. He will agree to help provide financing to poorer countries to help them pay for projects that reduce harmful emissions. And China, one of the world’s largest financiers of infrastructure projects, will agree to “strictly limit” the amount of public financing that goes toward high-carbon projects, another official said, in line with a 2013 commitment by the United States Treasury Department to cease public financing for new coal-fired power plants. [New York Times]

And before we go any further, just making sure you read Senator Kaine’s quote at the top. Read it and mull that reality. Next year will be my 20th year writing content on the web. It’s inconceivable to me that after all of these years our country doesn’t have a cyber security structure in place with response protocols. I’m hoping Mr. Kaine is incorrect, but my gut says he’s likely not.

President Xi also met with tech leaders, Jeff Bezos and Apple CEO Tim Cook among them, promising “strengthen protections on intellectual property and clear obstacles to investment in China,” according to BBC reporting. Cybersecurity and China’s roll in intellectual property theft and hacking is a very big issue in Washington.

From an important story in The Atlantic, The Thucydides Trap: Are the U.S. and China Headed for War? Whatever your level of knowledge on China it’s a fascinating, if sobering, read.

Last November, in a seminal meeting of the entire Chinese political and foreign-policy establishment, including the leadership of the People’s Liberation Army, Xi provided a comprehensive overview of his vision of China’s role in the world. The display of self-confidence bordered on hubris. Xi began by offering an essentially Hegelian conception of the major historical trends toward multipolarity (i.e. not U.S. unipolarity) and the transformation of the international system (i.e. not the current U.S.-led system). In his words, a rejuvenated Chinese nation will build a “new type of international relations” through a “protracted” struggle over the nature of the international order. In the end, he assured his audience that “the growing trend toward a multipolar world will not change.”

Given objective trends, realists see an irresistible force approaching an immovable object. They ask which is less likely: China demanding a lesser role in the East and South China Seas than the United States did in the Caribbean or Atlantic in the early 20th century, or the U.S. sharing with China the predominance in the Western Pacific that America has enjoyed since World War II?

There will be a state dinner Friday night, with the menu offering the finest of conspicuous consumption, which is always fun when company’s coming.

Menu via Yahoo, lobster, and, oh, the dessert.

The lobster will be poached in butter and served with traditional rice noodle rolls embedded with spinach, shiitake mushrooms and leeks when President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, welcome Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife, Peng Liyuan, to dinner in the East Room with a few hundred guests. […]

That translates into wild mushroom soup paired with Shaoxing rice wine, lobster, and grilled cannon of Colorado lamb served with cubes of tempura-fried panna cotta. Dessert will be poppy seed bread and butter pudding with Meyer lemon curd and lychee sorbet. Each table will also share a communal dessert plate that pays tribute to gardens and consists of a handmade chocolate pavilion and bridge, sugar roses and miniature pastries.