Obama tells China's Xi wants constructive management of differences

WASHINGTON- President Barack Obama told Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday he wants US-Chinese relations defined by more cooperation and a constructive management of differences, during a phone call in which Iran and North Korea were discussed.

The conversation between the two leaders came after two days of talks in Beijing, called the Strategic and Economic Dialogue, that was an opportunity for the world's two biggest economies to dial down tensions after months of bickering over a host of issues.

A White House statement said Obama stressed to Xi the need for communication and coordination on actions with China to ensure North Korea meets its denuclearization commitments.

In addition, the two leaders reviewed efforts to persuade Iran to agree to a nuclear agreement by a July 20 deadline. The White House said the two leaders "discussed the need for continued US-China cooperation" in the ongoing international negotiations between Iran and six world powers. "The president underscored the need for Iran to take the steps necessary to assure the international community that its nuclear programme is exclusively peaceful," the statement said.

Escalating tensions between China and some countries in the South China Sea and with Japan in the East China Sea as well as US charges over hacking and Internet spying have provoked ire on both sides of the Pacific in recent months. "The president reaffirmed his commitment to developing a relationship defined by increased practical cooperation and constructive management of differences," the White House said.

Obama told Xi he looked forward to seeing him at an Asia-Pacific summit in Beijing in November.