WASHINGTON — President Obama has invested more time building personal ties with Chinese President Xi Jinping than with most other world leaders. But as Xi arrives in Washington late Thursday for a grand state visit, it’s clear that Obama’s overtures have produced decidedly mixed results.

During intimate walks and hours of private discussion around the world, Obama and Xi forged a historic breakthrough to combat climate change and collaborated on efforts to curb Iran’s nuclear program. But there’s been little progress on a pair of vexing security issues that will be at the forefront of their latest round of discussions: China’s cyberspying in the U.S. and its disputed territorial claims in the Asian Pacific.

“The assumptions that many people had, that cooperation on transnational threats like climate change would ameliorate problems in geopolitical arenas were wrong,” said Michael Green, White House Asian Affairs director under President George W. Bush and current senior vice president at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Before plunging into the pageantry of the state visit, Obama and Xi met for dinner Thursday night at Blair House, the guest residence steps from the White House. They were joined by Vice President Joe Biden, who has also played a central role in building the administration’s relationship with the Chinese leader. Secretary of State John Kerry and National Security Adviser Susan Rice were also on hand for the informal dinner, where both world leaders ditched their ties.

Biden greeted Xi when his plane touched down at a military base near Washington.

U.S. officials point to Obama and Xi’s unusually informal 2013 summit at the Sunnylands estate in southern California as a key moment in the efforts to build rapport. Last year, Obama traveled to Beijing, and the two leaders strolled in the sprawling gardens next to the Forbidden City and met over a lengthy private dinner where details of the climate change agreement were finalized.

“I think what’s been distinct about their relationship, starting at Sunnylands, is far and away the most constructive engagements they’ve had have been in their private dinners,” said Ben Rhodes, Obama’s deputy national security adviser.

Obama and Xi’s relationship, however, will be tested anew as their talks delve into China’s flouting of U.S. concerns about cyberattacks and Beijing’s territorial claims in the South China Sea. U.S. officials also will be assessing the state of the Chinese economy, which is in the midst of a slowdown.

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