China, US should keep their relations on right track, says Xi

China, US should keep their relations on right track, says Xi
Vice-Premier Liu Yandong is greeted by US Vice-President Joe Biden as State Councilor Yang Jiechi looks on during the joint opening session of the Strategic and Economic Dialogue, and Consultation on People-to-People Exchange on Tuesday at the State Department in Washington.
PHOTO: AFP

The two nations 'have vast areas over which they can co-operate'

China and the United States should firmly keep their bilateral relationship on the right track, according to a message from President Xi Jinping to be delivered to US President Barack Obama.

Facing a complex and ever-changing global environment, both nations have vast areas over which they should, and can, co-operate, according to the president.

During high-level talks between the two countries on Tuesday, Vice-Premier Liu Yandong quoted Xi as saying that the priority for China's foreign policy is to build a new type of major country relationship with the US based on non-confrontation, non-conflict, mutual co-operation and a win-win principle.

Xi, who is scheduled to pay a state visit to the US in September, said in his message that if the two nations focus on the bilateral relationship, respect and take care of each other's core interests and avoid strategic misunderstanding and miscalculation, their differences can be managed and controlled and common interests can be protected.

Xi's remarks came as the joint opening ceremony was staged in Washington DC for the seventh China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue and the sixth China-US High-Level Consultation on People-to-People Exchange.

Vice-Premiers Liu and Wang Yang and State Councilor Yang Jiechi attended along with US Vice-President Joe Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Treasury Jack Lew.

Liu said Xi placed high emphasis on this year's dialogue and consultation and asked her, Wang and Yang to pass his message to Obama.

Biden said, "We don't see eye-to-eye (on certain issues) but we should not stop working hand-in-hand," citing an earlier speech by Xi on the joint relationship that mentioned "casting our eyes to the far horizon".

Biden reiterated the US stance of welcoming China's rise and emphasised the importance of managing areas of disagreements to build a long and sustainable relationship.

He also praised China's contribution in many areas, including climate change, the nuclear issue in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, China's role in the UN and UN peacekeeping and working with the US to combat the deadly Ebola virus in West Africa.

Kerry, who arrived at the State Department on crutches following his recent bike accident in France, said the US is particularly looking forward to Xi's upcoming visit.

"We are excited about the prospect of co-operation between the two nations," he said, adding that this will help other countries when they see China and the US working together.

While the dialogue and consultation have been hailed by both countries as an effective way to expand co-operation and manage differences, they have also been used to pave the way for fruitful visits by the presidents of the two nations.

In Beijing in November, Xi and Obama reached landmark deals on climate change as well as on visa extensions and military confidence-building.

Ahead of Tuesday's opening ceremony, senior civilian and military officials from the two countries met in Washington on Monday for the fifth China-US Strategic Security Dialogue.

They discussed a host of important issues and exchanged views on strategic and comprehensive security topics of common concern. The Chinese delegation described the talks as being conducted in a "candid, practical and constructive way."

Tao Wenzhao, a senior researcher at the Institute of American Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said both countries have "cooled down" over the South China Sea issue.

Jeffrey Bader, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and former special assistant to Obama for national security affairs, said he believed the two countries should engage and co-operate with each other more, and not less as suggested in some quarters.

 

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