World / China-US

US, China continue to work closely on number of issues: White House

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-05-21 16:35

WASHINGTON - The United States and China continue to work closely on a number of issues and Washington looks forward to the scheduled US visit by President Xi Jinping later this year, the White House said Wednesday.

White House spokesperson Eric Schultz made the remarks in responding to a media question on the US-China rift over the maritime disputes in the South China Sea and the latest US charges against several Chinese citizens for alleged theft of trade secrets.

"Generally speaking, as you point out, we are looking forward to that visit later this year," Schultz told reporters at a news briefing on board the Air Force One en route New London, Connecticut, where President Barack Obama was to make a speech at the US Coast Guard Academy.

"And we have a complicated but good relationship with China. We continue to work closely with them on a number of issues and we look forward to robust discussions on that visit later this year," Schultz added, referring to President Xi' state visit to the US slated for September.

Schultz declined to comment on the charges brought by the US Department of Justice (DOJ) on Tuesday against six Chinese citizens for allegedly stealing trade secrets, saying these are "independent decisions made by career prosecutors" at the DOJ.

US Secretary of State John Kerry paid a two-day visit to Beijing over the weekend to prepare for the upcoming US-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue to be held in Washington next month, and President Xi's US visit.

Kerry held meetings with Xi, as well as several senior Chinese government and military officials, to discuss, among other issues, China's reclamation activity in the South China Sea, over which Washington has repeatedly expressed deep concern.

China has insisted that its construction activity in the South China Sea is within its sovereignty and must not be disputed, and its determination and will to safeguard sovereignty and territorial integrity is unswerving.

Despite the differences, the two sides reaffirmed their commitment to work together to expand practical cooperation on a wide range of issues while managing their differences in an appropriate way.

On the DOJ charges against six Chinese nationals, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei on Wednesday expressed China's strong concern, while pledging that China would make sure the legitimate rights of the Chinese citizens are guaranteed.

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