Opinion / Chen Weihua

Leaders' summits great way to boost bilateral relations

By Chen Weihua (China Daily) Updated: 2015-10-10 08:44

Chinese Ambassador to the US Cui Tiankai offered a similar sentiment on Tuesday when he said of Xi's private dinner with Obama in Washington on Sept 24: "The topics they discussed were strategic, yet the atmosphere was so relaxed, sincere and constructive."

There were low expectations before Xi's state visit this time. But the tone after the summit has been overwhelmingly positive after Xi candidly addressed all the US concerns about a rising China. Even some long-time critics of the Obama administration or the Chinese government have spoken positively of the summit, of Xi's speech in Seattle and the agreements reached, especially the ones on cybersecurity and climate change.

It is true that a summit between the leaders of the two countries is unlikely to resolve all the differences between the two sides once and for all. But the two leaders will have much better mutual understanding through such summits and will be able to chart a course for the relationship by setting a positive tone for their bureaucracies.

In this summit, the tone has been about cooperation and working together to tackle bilateral, regional and global challenges. The tone has been that major global and regional issues cannot be solved without China and the US working together. This latest summit has been a clear demonstration that the two big countries are seeking to work together better.

At least for the time being, the bilateral relationship has been halted from the risk of sliding any further, a huge achievement compared with the pre-summit sentiment.

There is no reason why Xi and Obama, or any top Chinese and US leader in the future, should not meet more often.

The author is deputy editor of China Daily USA.

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