Chinese VP meets Obama, senior US officials on bilateral ties

Source:Xinhua Published: 2012-2-15 16:00:00

Visiting Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping held meetings with US President Barack Obama, his counterpart Joe Biden and other senior US officials here on Tuesday.

Xi and the US leaders vowed to grasp opportunities and overcome difficulties, and to further promote the China-US cooperative partnership based on mutual respect and mutual benefit.

During his meeting with Obama, Xi, who handed over a letter from Chinese President Hu Jintao to Obama, said his visit was aimed at implementing the important consensus reached by the presidents of the two countries on promotion of bilateral ties.

Xi said he would seek to build consensus, deepen the friendship and communicate with people from various walks of life in the United States.

Xi reiterated Beijing's position on the Taiwan issue, urging Washington to adhere to the spirit of the three joint communiques underpinning China-US relations.

He also called on the US side to safeguard, with concrete actions, the peaceful development of ties across the Taiwan Strait and the overall development of China-US relations.

Receiving Xi in the Oval Office, Obama reiterated Washington's adherence to the one-China policy based on the three joint communiques, according to a press release.

The United States does not support any calls for "Taiwan independence," Obama said, adding that his country wants to see the peaceful development of cross-Strait relations.

In his opening remarks, Obama said his country welcomes the peaceful rise of China.

"I have always emphasized that we welcome China's peaceful rise, that we believe that a strong and prosperous China is one that can help to bring stability and prosperity to the region and to the world," Obama said.

"We have continually tried to move forward on the basis of recognizing that a cooperative relationship based on mutual interest and mutual respect is not only in the interests of the United States and China, but is also in the interest of the region and ... in the interest of the world," he noted.

Earlier on Tuesday, Xi was invited by US Vice President Biden to the White House for talks which lasted more than two hours.

At the talks, Xi said China and the United States should promote "the strategic mutual trust" by respecting each other's core interests and accommodating each other's major concerns.

Xi urged the two sides to treat each other candidly and to enhance dialogue and communication.

Leaders of the two countries should maintain close contact through exchanges of visits, meetings, telephone conversations, letters and other means, and communicate with each other on major and pressing issues regarding China-US relations in a timely manner, he said.

Xi proposed that the two sides make full use of various dialogue and consultation mechanisms to provide fresh impetus to the bilateral cooperative partnership.

He said China supports the US side's efforts to send 100,000 students to China for studies and pledged China's efforts in advancing educational exchange programs.

Meanwhile, Xi said that China's position on Syria is aimed at safeguarding peace and stability in the Middle East and is in line with relevant international principles.

China, he said, will continue its constructive role in easing the tensions in Syria and safeguarding peace and stability in the region.

Biden, for his part, said the current US administration has decided to "renew and intensify" the US role in the Asia-Pacific region, and "the ties with China in particular."

"Our bilateral relations are the most important in the world, not only important to both countries, but also to the world at large," he noted.

He also said Xi's visit would continue to sustain the high-level dialogue between the two countries.

At midday on Tuesday, Xi was invited to attend a luncheon jointly hosted by Biden and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

On Tuesday afternoon, Xi visited the Petagon and met with US Secretary of Defense Leon Edward Panetta. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, also attended the meeting.

Prior to the meeting, Panetta hosted a welcoming ceremony in honor of Xi in front of the Pentagon, which was described by local media as a "rare" honor for a vice president of a foreign country.

On late Tuesday afternoon, Xi addressed a business symposium, and on Tuesday evening, Xi was invited to attend a welcoming banquet hosted by Biden.

Xi's visit has generated extraordinary interest from international and US media. The photo session of his meeting with Obama was live broadcast by major local broadcasters including CNN.

On Wednesday, Xi is scheduled to visit the Capitol Hill and meet with US Congress leaders, and to address a roundtable meeting of business leaders.

On Wednesday afternoon, he will leave Washington for Muscatine, Iowa to meet his old friends he got to know 27 years ago.

Xi started his five-day official visit to the United States on Monday as a guest of Biden.

Posted in: Diplomacy

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