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Xi's US visit to enhance mutual trust: experts


Updated: 2015-09-21 15:45:23


BEIJING - One of the main areas of concern to be addressed this week as part of Chinese President Xi Jinping's trip to the US will be trust.

Noting differences between China and the US over issues in the South China Sea, Professor Wang Gengwu with the National University of Singapore says he believes China is not trying to create maritime hegemony.

"So for the Chinese to be concerned to build a navy in the context of a global economy, that China has joined part of that global economy, not to have any kind of sense of security at sea when the economic development of China today depends on maritime trade. I am not saying that China is challenging that, not at all. But what the Chinese are saying is now they face a problem of having to protect their naval and maritime interests. And this is not a question of a dispute between two equals. Can there ever be a true balance between those two powers, I think it needs understanding on both sides."

Clarifying misunderstandings is expected to be one of the main priorities of the Chinese President's trip to the United States.

Professor Robert Keohane with Princeton University says he believes if the two sides can get past their differences and work together, cooperation will work in both their interests.

"Cooperation comes from discord not from harmony. The rise of China increases discord so then the problem is a challenge for cooperation, can there be some way to bring cooperation out of discord. If there can be then the cooperation will be much wider, much more global than ever there was before. "

Professor Xia Liping, head of Political Science & International Relations at Tongji University notes both countries are tied together economically.

"The economic interdependence between the world's two largest economies has rendered China and the U.S. "inseparable." If the two sides confront each other, both will suffer the consequences. And I think China will suffer more considering its current situation. In a state of conflict, China will never realize a peaceful rise, peaceful development and peaceful reunification. For the U.S., cooperation with China is also in its interests."

Princton's Robert Keohane echo's that suggestion, saying he believes conflict will just end up hurting one-another.

"In a world of great possibility of destructive harm from weapons, the only way to work forward is a win-win situation when all the major powers can gain from some set of bargains and agreements. It's not harmony because there are different interests. So from my point of view, the most important thing is to see how to accept the reality of discord, to work with the issues and ask which are the most important issues are for each side and reach cooperative arrangements which give each side what is more important to it in the context of an overall favorable response while giving up in each case what is less important to them."

Chinese President Xi Jinping is due to arrive in the US on Tuesday, beginning with a stop in the northwest city of Seattle.

From there, he's due to travel to Washington for a meeting with US President Barack Obama before ending his trip in New York.