Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping began a round of high-level talks today, meeting with President Barack Obama and his US counterpart, Vice President Joe Biden, at the White House, reported the Associated Press.
Obama met with Jinping around noon and said the meeting was a great opportunity to build the relationship between China and America, according to the Wall Street Journal. Obama, seated next to Jinping, said America "welcomes China's peaceful rise," but also cautioned China about playing by fair economic rules.
The Obama administration has praised China's economic prowess while "cautiously calling for the Asian country to better adhere to international business and human rights standards," according to the Wall Street Journal. The leaders shook hands twice and Jinping smiled throughout Obama's remarks.
The Guardian reported Xi will be replacing Hu Jintao as the Communist party leader later this year, and succeeding him as president in 2013. This four-day visit offers a glimpse at what kind of leader Xi might turn out to be, once he takes over.
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Biden said that while the US and China may not always see eye-to-eye, the two global powers share important concerns, according to CNN.
“A sign of strength and maturity of our relationship is that we're able to talk candidly about our differences," Biden said. "This bilateral relationship is one of the most important in the world.”
Xi expressed a desire to build upon the relationship Obama and Hu established during a visit by Hu last year, building a “cooperative partnership based on mutual respect and mutual benefit,” according to the AP. He also looked forward to an “in-depth and candid exchange of views.”
Xi is scheduled to meet Obama in the Oval Office later in the morning, and will have lunch with Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, reported The New York Times. He will also be saluted by an honor guard at the Pentagon, talk to industrial officials at the Chamber of Commerce and dine with Biden and his wife at the Naval Observatory this evening.
The two largest points of tension in America and China’s relationship right now center around America’s military presence in Asia and trade concerns, but officials said this visit will focus more on cultivating a relationship with China’s likely future leader, according to The Times.
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