Xi, Obama stress economic ties

Updated: 2013-06-10 01:11

By ZHU ZHE and Chen Jia in Rancho Mirage, California and ZHANG YUWEI in New York (China Daily)

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Key meeting seen as opportunity for leaders 'to know each other'

Leaders of the world's two largest economies focused on strengthening closer economic ties during their second meeting on Saturday morning, with President Xi Jinping calling for more cooperation in bilateral investments, energy and infrastructure as well as local exchanges.

Xi, Obama stress economic ties

Xi stressed that the economic relationship lays an important foundation for the countries' relations. They have formed a highly complementary and interdependent economic relationship, said the Chinese president, adding that not only will cooperation between China and the United States benefit each other but also impact the global economy.

"We should enhance our awareness of opportunities, the win-win situation and innovation, deepen and expand bilateral economic cooperation and strive to explore new converging interests and growth points of cooperation," Xi said.

Xi cautioned against trade protectionism and called for the US to loosen restrictions on high-tech exports to China, and for the creation of a level-playing field for Chinese investors in the US.

US President Barack Obama said the US welcomes Chinese investment and vowed to take actions on loosening restrictions on the high-tech exports to China. He also agreed with Xi on closer cooperation in trade and energy.

Chinese investment in the US surged to $6.7 billion last year from less than $1 billion in 2008, according to New York-based Rhodium Group, a consulting firm that tracks overseas Chinese investment.

In a recent $4.7 billion megadeal, China's meat processor Shuanghui International Holdings purchased Virginia-based pork giant Smithfield Foods. It would be the largest-ever takeover of a US company by a Chinese investor if approved by US regulators.

Xi said that China's gross domestic product grew 7.7 percent in the first quarter of this year, which is conducive to adjusting economic structures and improving the quality and efficiency of economic growth.

"We have full confidence in sustained and healthy long-term economic development," Xi said.

On the intellectual property issue — one of the thorny issues between the US and China — the Chinese leader said that IP protection is not only a need for China to fulfill its international obligations, but also for the Chinese to build an innovative, new society and to achieve their own economic and social development goals. He said that China will perform this international obligation to strengthen protection of intellectual property

Prior to the second meeting, the two leaders took a walk at the Annenberg estate where the two-day summit was held and which has previously hosted eight US presidents. The two leaders, appearing casually dressed in shirtsleeves, were seen talking to each other as they walked on the green lawn.

The two leaders' informal two-day summit — with a rare setting outside of Washington — has drawn attention from pundits from different fields. Many regard it as a needed and unique time for the two leaders to "get to know each other", which will help in dealing with a host of issues ranging from cybersecurity to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

The summit is the first face-to-face meeting the two leaders have had since Xi took office in March. They met last February in Washington when Xi had a week-long visit in the US as China's vice-president.

"If the relationship is defined in mutually beneficial terms, there is great potential for the two to benefit economically, through bilateral direct investment, trade and technological cooperation," said Daniel Rosen, a partner with the Rhodium Group.

John Frisbie, president of the Washington-based US-China Business Council, which represents more than 200 US companies that have business in China, said: "I view this informal and lengthy set of meetings between the two presidents positively."

"Both leaders sent a message about the importance of the US-China relationship by carving out an opportunity to meet early in the new Chinese leadership's tenure and set the tone for engagement during the second term of the Obama administration," said Frisbie.

Michael Armacost, a fellow at Stanford University, said the two president's focus on issues on which the two countries can deepen collaboration is the right direction for the future of US-China relations.



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