Business / Economy

US to seek broader cooperation during Obama's China visit

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-10-31 14:27

WASHINGTON - With US President Barack Obama set to visit China next month, Washington is seeking to further expand bilateral cooperation, analysts say.

The two sides "will try to expand cooperation in areas where they actually have converging and overlapping interests," said Bonnie Glaser, a China expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington-based think tank.

Speaking at a seminar organized Thursday by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, another Washington-based think tank, she said Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping will try to find ways to work together on issues like Afghanistan and the Ebola epidemic.

China is set to host a foreign ministers' conference of the Istanbul Process on Afghanistan in Beijing on Friday, and both Washington and Beijing are contributing to the battle against Ebola.

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The United States and NATO are scheduled to withdraw most of their combat troops from Afghanistan by the end of this year, leaving Kabul with such major tasks as political reconciliation, economic reconstruction and security transition.

"What needs to be is find common ground where you have overlapping interests you try to work together and accomplish something, and where you have differences you have to manage them, " Glaser said at the forum.

Jonathan Pollack, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution think tank, said Washington and Beijing will aim for goals "realistic and achievable" for the last two years of the Obama administration.

Obama will be in Beijing for this year's informal leaders' meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, slated for Nov 10-11, as well as a visit to China.

Both Pollack and Glaser spoke of a better military-to-military relationship between the United States and China.

"In the last several years, the development of military-to-military relationship has been more pronounced and more sustained than any time in a number of years," observed Pollack.

Glaser pointed to more "candid" dialogue as well as an up-tick in military exchanges, joint exercises and confidence-building measures between the two military forces.

She said the US strategy of re-balance toward the region over the years has soured China's attitude toward Washington, but it has not substantially undermined bilateral cooperation.

"Our core interests really don't completely converge," Glaser added. "I think we should start talking about a new type of US-China relationship."

At a regular press briefing on Thursday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said Xi and Obama will discuss the new relationship between the two countries and international issues of common concern, including joint action on Ebola, terrorism and climate change.

"We hope that through this visit, the two sides will enhance strategic trust, reduce strategic uncertainty and increase strategic cooperation, so as to advance the new type of relationship between China and the United States," Hong said.

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