By Fareed Zakaria
While we were consumed by the crises of the moment – Turkey's riots, NSA snooping and Washington's "scandals" – something happened on June 7 and 8 that is potentially of more lasting importance. The presidents of the U.S. and China held their most significant and successful meeting in decades. It was a vital step forward in the crucial relationship – between the world's superpower and its fastest-rising power – that will shape the 21st century.
The summit at Sunnylands, in California, was the result of months of preparation, led on the American side by National Security Adviser Thomas Donilon. He explained to me that the two teams agreed to a format that was a real break with the past: "Usually at meetings like these, each leader brings a set of talking points. This creates a format that highlights problems. This was different: We didn't come in with a set of complaints. The leaders came with ideas about opportunities. It created a completely different discussion and dynamic."