China / Politics

Xi urges enhanced trust in meeting with Obama

By ZHANG YUNBI (China Daily) Updated: 2016-09-04 01:53

Xi urges enhanced trust in meeting with Obama

President Xi Jinping and US President Barack Obama meet at the West Lake State Guest House in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, on Saturday. Wu Zhiyi / China Daily

Beijing and Washington should strengthen mutual trust and "manage and control divergences in a constructive manner" for a lasting and healthy development of bilateral relations, President Xi Jinping said when meeting with his US counterpart Barack Obama on Saturday.

The meeting, the eighth between the two leaders, was held in Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang province, ahead of the two-day G20 Leaders Summit, which starts on Sunday.

Xi spoke highly of his interactions with Obama, saying their previous meetings "all produced important consensus".

Two-way trade, investment and personnel exchanges are at historic highs, and both countries have worked jointly to tackle climate change, advance negotiations on a bilateral investment treaty and establish a mutual trust mechanism between the two countries’ militaries, Xi said.

Progress has also been made in fighting cybercrime, coping with the Ebola epidemic in Africa and facilitating a comprehensive agreement on the Iranian nuclear issue, the president said.

"All these have showcased the strategic importance and global influence of China-US relations," Xi said.

Obama said, "What I think we have been able to achieve is practical and constructive efforts where our interests intersect, and a candid discussion of those areas where we are different, and our ability to manage them in a way that does not put the bilateral relationship at risk".

Tackling climate change has been a highlight of the China-US collaboration.

Ahead of their face-to-face talks, the two leaders handed over to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon the documents in which the two countries agreed to join the Paris climate agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

The meeting drew much media attention, as relations saw ups and downs earlier this year as a result of US actions in the South China Sea.

Yuan Peng, vice-president of the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, said both leaders share a clear understanding of the "scope, complexity and strategic significance of bilateral relations". They have maintained frequent communications over development goals and strategic intentions, Yuan said.

Such exchanges of views have ensured strategic stability between China and the US, he added.

Teng Jianqun, a research fellow on US studies at the China Institute of International Studies, said Obama is visiting China "to cement his diplomatic legacy".

Obama’s visit to the country, expected to be the last before he leaves office, provides an opportunity for the two countries to prepare for a smooth transition in relations when the next US president takes office in January, he said.

Stable long-term relations are good news not only for the two countries, but for the rest of the world as well, Teng said.

Obama is scheduled to visit Laos after his trip to Hangzhou.

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