Xi's Americas tour shows balance, innovative style

Updated: 2013-05-31 19:16


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BEIJING - Xi Jinping's just-started journey to the west hemisphere will be his first tour to Latin America as Chinese president.

Meanwhile, his June 7-8 talks with his US counterpart Barack Obama at Sunnylands estate, California, will also be the first summit between the world's two largest economies after both countries underwent leadership transition.

As many global observers have noticed, Xi's visit is unprecedented in its itinerary and other arrangements for a Chinese head of state, which evince a balanced approach toward both developing and developed nations, as well as an innovative diplomacy style of the new Chinese leadership.

Instead of competing with other world powers for the so-called "spheres of influence", Beijing is seeking pragmatic cooperation for mutual benefit when building rapport with Latin American countries, which is conducive to the region's social stability and economic growth.

In the Caribbean and Latin America, Xi will show a world vision which prefers common prosperity instead of old-fashioned alliance.

China's relations with Latin America have already entered a fast-growing track with a 100-fold increase in bilateral trade since 1990, as China has already become the region's second-largest trade partner.

In China's global economic map, the region is gaining prominence as it emerged as a major destination for China's growing overseas investment.

Scheduled next week in California, the Xi-Obama meeting will be innovative in several ways. It is rare in history that a Chinese president holds talks with his US counterpart less than three months after assuming office.

The timing and the form of the summit will also be unprecedented throughout the records of China-US ties.

Such special arrangements display the growing maturity of the ties between the world's largest developing nation and largest developed nation.

Of course, the two leaders will discuss urgent issues such as recent challenges in the Asia-Pacific region, but they are also expected to take time to talk about laying the groundwork for forging a new type of inter-power relations.

From the Chinese perspective, a new type of relationship between the two nations calls for a new strategic concept for them to see each other as opportunities rather than threats, and materialize the opportunities via further cooperation.

As the world's top two economies, China and the United States are the two crucial variables in a fast-changing global landscape, both having huge responsibilities to the peace and prosperity of the human race. The two sides need to take a long-term and full-range view of their relationship and its possible impact.

It cannot be denied that the two countries have certain doubts over each other's strategic intentions, with Washington fearing its global status overtaken while Beijing always wondering about the true purpose of Obama's so-called "Asia Pivot" and "rebalancing".

To reduce suspicion and build trust, it is vital to keep the channels of communication always open, especially at the top level. The informal meeting between Xi and Obama will provide a golden chance for them to know each other better in person and help dispel misunderstanding between the two sides.



President Xi visits Latin America, meets Obama

May 31 to June 6: Xi will pay state visits to Trinidad and Tobago, Costa Rica and Mexico.

June 7 to 8: Xi will meet US President Barack Obama on June 7 and 8 at the Annenberg Estate in Rancho Mirage, California.


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