Xi, Obama discuss Asia-Pacific

Updated: 2013-09-07 01:21

By WU JIAO in St. Petersburg, Chen Weihua in Washington and ZHANG YUNBI in Beijing (China Daily)

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Region displays our two countries' shared interests: Chinese leader

Beijing asked Washington to maintain an objective and fair attitude and press countries to make tangible moves to safeguard peace in the Asia-Pacific.

The region has an important opportunity for development, but it also faces "issues including maritime interests, as well as island disputes", President Xi Jinping told his US counterpart Barack Obama in a meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, on Friday.

Xi, Obama discuss Asia-Pacific

President Xi Jinping meets with his US counterpart Barack Obama in St. Petersburg, Russia, on Friday. It was their second meeting in three months. [Ju Peng / Xinhua]

Observers said Xi made the remarks to tell the US not to play a negative role in the issues regarding the South China Sea issue and Diaoyu Islands, and to make sure that Washington's rebalancing policy in the Asia-Pacific does not hurt China's core interests.

"The Asia-Pacific is a region that best displays shared interests of China and the United States, and the scope for bilateral cooperation is larger than the differences," Xi said.

The US expects all parties to resolve disputes through diplomatic reconciliation, and it is willing to contribute to this, Obama said.

Tao Wenzhao, a US studies expert at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the biggest challenge for the two countries is for them to interact smoothly in the Asia-Pacific when Washington is widely believed to be behind the South China Sea disputes.

Obama said the US expects the two countries to establish a comprehensive partnership regarding Asia-Pacific affairs.

Tao said Obama's comments were "much more positive than before".

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has publicly taken the traditional Japan-US alliance as a major support for Japan's territorial claims and increasingly assertive military buildup.

Yet "Washington's concern has been growing about Tokyo becoming an unstable factor in East Asia and undermining Washington's overall interests in the Asia-Pacific," said Shi Yinhong, a professor of international relations at Renmin University of China.

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