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Cooperation is correct choice, Xi tells Tillerson

By AN BAIJIE/ZHANG YUNBI | China Daily | Updated: 2017-03-20 05:44

President also invites Donald Trump to Beijing in meeting with top US diplomat

Cooperation is correct choice, Xi tells Tillerson

President Xi Jinping tells visiting US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that the nations should enhance exchanges at all levels. They met on Sunday at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. [Photo/Xinhua]

President Xi Jinping called Sunday for improving high-level exchanges and proper handling of sensitive issues between China and the United States while stressing that cooperation is the only correct choice for both countries.

Xi, speaking as he met with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in Beijing, also extended an invitation for US President Donald Trump to visit China.

Important opportunities remain to further develop China-US relations, Xi said.

The president said he has maintained sound communications with Trump, and they have agreed that the two countries could be good cooperative partners.

"President Trump and I have spoken to each other twice on the phone and exchanged three letters. Both he and I believe that we need to make joint efforts to advance China-US cooperation," Xi said.

"We believe that we can make sure the relationship will move ahead in a constructive fashion in the new era. I am confident that as long as we do this, our relationship can surely move in the right direction."

Xi said he hopes both sides stick to the consensuses reached by the two presidents, enhance exchanges at all levels including high-level ones, expand cooperation on bilateral, regional and global issues, and properly handle and control sensitive issues.

Xi stressed that the China-US relationship is important not only for the two countries, but also for the world. He called on the two countries to enhance strategic mutual trust and enhance understanding.

The common interests between the two nations are weightier than their disagreements, and cooperation is the only correct choice, he said.

The president pointed out that China-US relations should be handled in a long-term and strategic manner to expand cooperative areas and achieve win-win results. The two countries should respect each other's core interests and major concerns, and maintain the stability of China-US relations.

This is Tillerson's first visit to China since he assumed office last month.

Tillerson said Trump places a "very high value on the communications that have already occurred" between the two presidents.

He said Trump "looks forward to enhancing better understanding and an opportunity for a visit in the future. We know through further dialogue we will achieve great understanding that will strengthen ties between China and the United States, and set the tone for our future relationship of cooperation."

The US side is ready to develop relations with China based on the principle of no conflict, no confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation, Tillerson said.

Ruan Zongze, executive vice-president of the China Institute of International Studies, said that the meeting has sent a signal to the world that China-US relations will continue to focus on cooperation.

Stephen Orlins, president of National Committee on US-China Relations, said that the positive momentum during Tillerson's visit could lay the foundation for a meeting between Xi and Trump.

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