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Can Barack Obama, the US president, and his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao fix the uneasy and often fractious ties between their two countries?

Both leaders are scheduled to meet in Washington, DC on Wednesday to talk about a number of major sticking points. The US accuses China of under-valuing its currency to boost exports and American politicians say that has caused job losses in the US and exacerbated its economic crisis.

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The White House has also urged Beijing to improve its human rights record and give its people more political freedoms. But Hu Jintao says his government's tight control of the media, internet and political debate in the country are meant to protect China's "evolving socialist democracy".

On Tuesday, we talk to Nina Hachigian of the progressive US think-tank Center for American Progress. Also we have commentator and columnist Gordon Chang, who is a critic of China, and Cheng Li, who specialises in Sino-US relations at the Washington, DC-based Brookings Institution.

You can join the conversation. Call in with your questions and comments on Tuesday, January 18, at our live time of 1930GMT. Repeats air the next day at 0430GMT, 0830GMT and 1430GMT.

Source: Al Jazeera