Obama expects to meet Xi
on relations, major issues
By Yang Qingchuan
U.S. President Barack Obama has said he expects to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping to discuss bilateral relations and other major issues on the sidelines of the 22nd Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting.
“I look forward to my meeting with President Xi because it will be an opportunity to deepen our partnerships” in areas where the interests of the two countries overlap, Obama said.
The United States welcomes China’s stable, prosperous and peaceful rise and hopes for China’s contribution to global security and prosperity, Obama said in a written interview with Xinhua prior to his trip to Beijing to attend the APEC informal economic leaders’ meeting.
EXPECTING CANDID TALKS WITH XI
Obama recalled his meeting with Xi at the Sunnylands in California last year, saying it helped both sides get to know one another better, more clearly understand the perspectives and intentions of the governments, and explore areas where the two countries can deepen cooperation.
“So one of the things President Xi and I can do at this week is continue to explore ways to build the trust that is critical to progress on so many issues where we can work together,” he noted.
Lauding the progressive development of bilateral ties since the establishment of China-U.S. diplomatic relations, Obama said that “we see ties and cooperation between the two nations that would have been “unthinkable 35 years ago.”
The president listed benefits brought about by China-U.S. cooperation: the massive trade relationship supports jobs in both countries and powers the global growth; scientists and researchers from the two nations collaborate to unlock new discoveries and innovations; joint work on security issues — from the Korean Peninsula to Iran — promotes a more peaceful and secure world; tackling new challenges — from the Ebola epidemic in West Africa to climate change — helps save lives and leaves a better, safer planet for children.
On people-to-people exchanges, Obama said the friendship and cooperation between the two peoples is the foundation of the broader relationship between the two nations.
He said that more students from China study in the United States than from any other country, while more than 100,000 Americans have studied in China during his presidency.
“My wife, Michelle, and our daughters Malia and Sasha experienced the connections between our peoples for themselves when they visited China earlier this year,” he added.
Meanwhile, Obama mentioned that the United States and China still have differences with regard to some issues and that he expects to discuss them “directly and candidly” with President Xi.
NOT SEEKING TO CONTAIN CHINA
Obama reaffirmed that the United States welcomes the rise of a China that is stable, prosperous and peaceful and that plays a responsible role in regional and global affairs.
The president said that he absolutely rejects the suggestion that the United States is trying to somehow contain China, calling for discarding the outdated zero-sum thinking that says one country’s growth or security has to come at the expense of another.
“I firmly believe that we can avoid repeating history where we have seen destructive rivalries between existing powers and emerging powers,” he said.
As major trade partners, both the United States and China have a huge stake in the success of each other, said Obama, adding that “we want China and the Chinese people to succeed and contribute to global security and prosperity, because it is good for all of us.”
Obama lauded bilateral extraordinary trade and economic relationship that delivered benefits for the two nations. “I would like to continue deepening our trade and investment ties because it would mean even more jobs and opportunity for both our peoples,” he said.
Mentioning the expected meeting with Xi, Obama said it will be an opportunity to make progress toward an ambitious bilateral investment treaty, calling on both sides to be bold and negotiate a high-standard agreement.
STRENGTHENING ANTI-TERRORISM COOPERATION
As terrorism has become a global challenge, Obama said the United States opposes terrorism in all of its forms and is willing to strengthen counter-terrorism cooperation with China on fighting the Islamic State in the Middle East and other issues.
Referring to recent acts of terror in Kunming, the capital city of southwest China’s Yunnan Province and Urumqi, the regional capital of the western Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, by the Eastern Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), Obama said he was appalled by these acts of terror, and extended deepest condolences and the sympathies of the U.S. people to the victims and their families.
“As a husband and a father, I cannot even begin to imagine the grief of these families who lost a loved one. Terrorist groups like ETIM should not be allowed to establish a safe haven in ungoverned areas along China’s periphery,” he said.
Counter-terrorism is an area where the two nations could strengthen cooperation, Obama said, specifying that the United States and China could work together in stemming the flow of foreign terrorist fighters and cracking down on terrorist funding networks.
APPRECIATION FOR CHINA’S HOSPITALITY
Commenting on the APEC economic leaders’ meeting in Beijing, Obama thanked Xi and China for hosting this event, saying that “my fellow leaders and I will be greeted with the hospitality for which the Chinese people are known.”
He also commended China for using this year as APEC host to focus on bringing economies closer together and reducing the barriers that stand in the way of trade, investment and creating jobs.
This year, the APEC Beijing meeting has included further efforts on trade facilitation, regulatory transparency, anti-corruption, energy efficiency and expanding the role of women in the economy, Obama said.