BEIJING, China, 13 November 2014
President Xi Jinping on Wednesday outlined six priorities in building a new type of major-country relationship with the United States.
“China would like to work with the US to implement the principle of no conflict, no confrontation, mutual respect, cooperation and common prosperity and make the new type of major-country relations between the two countries produce more benefits to people in the two countries and the world,” Xi told his US counterpart Barack Obama during their talks in Beijing.
The priorities in China’s diplomacy with the United States include:
- China and the US should improve exchanges and communication between high-level officials in a bid to improve strategic trust. The two sides should give bilateral dialogue mechanisms a better play, such as the China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue.
- The two countries should respect each other’s sovereign and territorial integrity as well as political system and development path, instead of imposing one’s will and model on the other, which is the important condition and foundation for the two countries to have a healthy, stable and sustainable relationship.
- They should deepen cooperation in all aspects including trade, military, counterterrorism, law enforcement, energy, health and infrastructure. The cooperation should involve governments, parliaments, media, think tanks and young people.
- The two sides should manage disputes and sensitive issues in a constructive manner. As it is inevitable to have differences, they should always resort to dialogues and consultation and do not act against each other’s core interests.
- They should improve collaboration in the Asia-Pacific, having positive interactions, encouraging inclusive diplomacy and work for regional peace, stability and prosperity.
- They should jointly respond to regional and global challenges. China is willing to work with the US on regional hotspots such as the Iran nuclear issue, denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and Afghanistan as well as global issues like counterterrorism, climate change and epidemic control.
Xi and Obama met at the Great Hall of the People, following a red-carpet ceremony to welcome the US president on Wednesday morning.
Obama arrived in Beijing Monday to attend the 22nd Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting and pay a state visit to China.
Obama congratulated the Chinese side for “hosting a successful APEC summit” and expressed his gratitude for Xi’s “outstanding hospitality in the state visit.”
Saying this year marks the 35th anniversary of the establishment of China-US relations, Xi said bilateral ties now stand at a new starting point.
“Facing the current complicated and changing international situation, China and the United States should and will be able to cooperate in more areas,” Xi said.
Obama said the trade ties and people-to-people exchanges between the two countries have surged over the past 35 years.
“We have shown that when we cooperate, the United States and China can make important contributions to security and prosperity in the region and around the world,” Obama said.
Xi reviewed his meeting with Obama at the Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands in Rancho Mirage, California in June 2013, where they reached a consensus on building a new type of China-US relations.
The two countries have since then made “positive progress” in bilateral coordination and cooperation in various areas, Xi said.
China and the United States have worked together in tackling climate change, combating the Ebola epidemic and fighting terrorism, Xi said.
Facts have proved a new type of major-country relations between China and the United States serves the fundamental interests of the two peoples and helps maintain peace, stability and prosperity in Asia and Pacific and the world, Xi said.
Obama said he and Xi discussed “our priorities and our vision for the US-China relationship” Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning.
“I believe our two nations have enormous stake in each other’s success,” Obama said, adding the United States welcomes a peaceful, prosperous and stable China.
Obama said he and Xi “engage in an honest and constructive dialogue around those differences and ensure we can manage them in a peaceful and effective way.”
Obama said his discussion with Xi will help ensure bilateral relationship “continue to deliver results” for China, for the United States and for the world.
On Tuesday evening, the two heads of state held a meeting at the Zhongnanhai leadership compound in downtown Beijing after the APEC meeting.
The two leaders confirmed the core role of economic ties in bilateral relationship and pledged to boost their economic relations and improve the international economic system, according to a release from the Chinese foreign ministry on major outcomes of the Xi-Obama meeting.
Last year, bilateral trade volume soared to 520 billion U.S. dollars, and outstanding amount of two-way investment stood at 100 billion dollars.
The release said China and the United States will continue to take the bilateral investment treaty (BIT) negotiations as the most important issue regarding their economic relationship and will “input more resources” into the negotiations with a view to reaching a comprehensive high-standard bilateral investment treaty.
China and the United States began the BIT talks in 2008 as the two countries sought to lift mutual investment, which only accounted for a tiny share of their overseas investment.
New type of military relations
During their talks, Xi proposed “a new type of military relations” that suits the new type of major-country relationship between China and the United States.
Xi said defense departments of the two countries have signed Memorandums of Understanding (MOU) on establishing a mutual reporting mechanism on major military operations and a code of safe conduct on naval and air military encounter.
The two militaries should deepen exchanges, mutual trust and cooperation based on the two MOUs, he said.
China would like to make progress in the exchanges between senior officers of the two armed forces, smooth communication mechanism and conduct more joint trainings and drills with the US side.
Xi urged the US to follow the one-China policy and principles set by the three joint communiques between the two countries and asked the US government to stop arms sales to Taiwan and support cross-Strait peace with “actual actions.”
In response, Obama assured that there has been no change of the US stance on Taiwan and it does not support “Taiwan independence.”
The US favours the improvement of cross-Strait relations and expects it to continue, he said.
Obama also stressed that the US acknowledges Tibet as part of the People’s Republic of China and does not back “Tibet independence.”
Landmark goals for climate change
After their meeting, China and the US issued a joint announcement on climate change, listing ambitious goals and pledging joint efforts to tackle climate change in the next 15 years.
The United States intends to achieve “an economy-wide target of reducing its emissions by 26 to 28 percent below its 2005 level in 2025” and to make best efforts to reduce its emissions by 28 percent, according to the announcement.
China’s carbon dioxide emission is expected to hit the peak around 2030 and it intends to increase the share of non-fossil fuels in primary energy consumption to around 20 percent by 2030, according to the announcement.
Xi and Obama jointly denounced all forms of terrorism and pledged to fight terrorism together by following the Charter of the United Nations and fundamental principles in international relations.
The two countries will also improve cooperation in law enforcement, such as jointly hunting down fugitives, recovering their ill-gotten assets, fighting drug trafficking and cyber crimes.
According to the foreign ministry release, the two presidents agreed that China’s Ministry of Public Security and U.S. Department of Homeland Security will hold a minister-level meeting early next year to discuss how to boost anti-terrorism and law-enforcement cooperation.
China is a participant, builder and contributor of the existing international system, Xi said at a joint press conference with Obama, telling reporters that China’s economic development has made important contribution in boosting world economic recovery after the financial crisis.
China is also the largest contributor of peacekeepers among the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, and China has sent over 20,000 peacekeepers to UN peacekeeping missions, Xi said.
Since the Ebola outbreak in April, China has offered 750 million yuan (122 million US dollars) worth of aid to countries plagued by the epidemic, Xi said.
According to the foreign ministry release, China and the United States will enhance communication and boost cooperation to fight Ebola in Africa.
Obama told reporters the US views China as an important cooperative partner, be it on the bilateral, regional or global level.
Developing a strong relationship with China occupies the center stage in the US strategy of rebalancing to Asia.
When answering a question on human rights, Xi said China has made great achievements in human rights since the founding of New China in 1949, especially after 30 years of reform and opening up.
He said China is willing to engage in dialogues with the US on human rights on the basis of equality and mutual respect.
After the talks, Xi held a banquet for Obama at the Great Hall with the presence of senior Chinese leaders Yu Zhengsheng, Liu Yunshan, Wang Qishan and Zhang Gaoli.