Leaders map out new path
Global Times | 2013-6-9 2:38:01
By Xu Yan in Rancho Mirage
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Chinese President Xi Jinping shakes hands with US President Barack Obama at Sunnylands as they meet on Friday in Rancho Mirage, California. Photo: AP

Chinese President Xi Jinping shakes hands with US President Barack Obama at Sunnylands as they meet on Friday in Rancho Mirage, California. Photo: AP

Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Barack Obama met at a casual-style summit at the Sunnylands estate in California Friday and Saturday, mapping out a new type of ties between the world's two largest economies.

The two leaders exchanged views mostly over strategic issues on Friday and focused on bilateral economic ties on Saturday.

Neither of the presidents wore neckties during the meetings, which were billed as no-necktie and laid-back. Besides talks and discussions, the informal summit also featured a working dinner Friday and a walk at the picturesque resort on Saturday morning.

Xi told a press conference after Friday's meeting that he elaborated the Chinese dream to Obama during their talks.

"Through the Chinese dream, we seek to have economic prosperity, national renewal and the people's well-being. The Chinese dream is about peace, development, cooperation and win-win results, and it is connected to the American dream and beautiful dreams of people in other countries," the Chinese president said.

During Friday's meeting, Xi also reiterated that the Pacific Ocean is vast enough to accommodate the development of two great powers in the world.

The summit is "to map out a blueprint for the development of China-US relations and engage in cooperation across the Pacific Ocean," said Xi.

Xi said both sides can look thoroughly into three questions addressing major concerns of the bilateral relationship, namely, "What kind of a relationship do we need? What type of cooperation should China and the US have to achieve win-win results? And how can both countries work together to promote peace and development in the world?"

Obama also said he seeks "a new model of cooperation" with China, and that a strong relationship between the two largest economies is important for the world.

Bonnie Glaser, chair of China Studies at the Washington DC-based Center for Strategic and International Studies, told the Global Times, "The US and Chinese presidents have already agreed that their two nations should not repeat the historical pattern when rising nations have challenged existing powers, resulting in military conflict."

"So there is agreement on what the US-Chinese relationship should not be. However, there is not yet a shared understanding as to what the relationship should be - in positive terms," said Glaser, adding "it will be challenging to define this."

Douglas Paal, vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, also a Washington DC-based think tank, told the Global Times that the US tends to think "this new kind of relationship means China will not choose to challenge the US role in the world" while China "may want the US to yield more of its role to China, peacefully but significantly more than the US is ready to concede."

Stanley Rosen, a political science professor at the University of Southern California, told the Global Times the expression of a new model to foster bilateral ties "reflects China's quest for more respect from the US in terms of its legitimate rights and interests in the global order, starting with but not limited to what China has defined as its core interests."

Jin Canrong, an associate dean with the School of International Studies at the Renmin University of China, interpreted the new model as China being "a reformer instead of a revolutionary" in the US-dominated global system and shouldering more international responsibilities.

"Meanwhile, Washington must treat Beijing as its equal," Jin told the Global Times on Saturday.

"The discussions and agreements - and disagreements - at this summit will likely have a lasting impact on the relationship since this meeting is unprecedented," Rosen said.

"This is indeed a special meeting," Susan Shirk, chair of the 21st Century China Program at the University of California, San Diego, told the Global Times.

Xi told a press conference after Friday's meeting that he and Obama would keep close contact by various means.

"I invited President Obama to come to China at a convenient time for a new round of meetings," Xi said, revealing that the Chinese defense minister and foreign minister will visit the US at Washington's invitation.

Local residents near Sunnylands expressed their good wishes for nurturing future ties between the two countries.

Roberta Alexander, a painting contractor living in Coachella, told the Global Times that "the rising power of China is happening in front of our eyes," but she believes the US and China "can coexist because we are both countries of peace and goodwill."

Related reports:
Chinese president leaves California after China-US summit
Chinese president voices confidence in China-US cooperation
Xi, Obama pledge to cooperate on cyber security issues
Xi, Obama hold second meeting on economic ties

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Around the estate

 
First lady visits museum

China's first lady Peng Liyuan visited a local art museum Friday, accompanied by Ann Gust Brown, wife of California Governor Jerry Brown.

Peng, in a white dress with a dark top, showed up at the Palm Spring Art Museum around 4:30 pm, and stayed in the museum for 40 minutes. She also posed for photos in front of a newly installed sculpture by Zhan Wang, a renowned artist from Beijing.

Steven Nash, director of the museum, told reporters that Peng is very charming, intelligent and has a thorough knowledge of contemporary art, and it is a great honor for the museum to receive her.

600 reporters at summit

According to people.com.cn, the summit between Chinese President Xi Jinping and his US counterpart Barack Obama drew nearly 600 reporters to Rancho Mirage, a small resort city with a population of less than 20,000.

Chinese page launched

The official website of Sunnylands, where Xi and Obama met on Friday and Saturday, recently launched a Chinese-language page, introducing the background information of the estate. It also carried a bilingual article about the two leaders' meeting.

Menu revealed

Although it hasn't been revealed what the two leaders had during their working dinner on Friday, people.com.cn published the menu of a café at the resort, in which a Chinese-style chicken salad and a sandwich are each sold at $9.95, a chocolate brownie at $3 and a cup of latte at $4.75.

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