China: Xi Jinping meets US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew


Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) speaks to US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew during their meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, on Mar. 19, 2013.


Feng Li - Pool

China’s president Xi Jinping met US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew today – Xi’s first meeting with a foreign official since being confirmed as president six days ago, Bloomberg Businessweek reported.

Lew is on his first international trip since replacing Timothy Geithner as head of the US Treasury Dept., Reuters reported.

The two men discussed currencies, Europe and the global economy, intellectual property, cyber-security and North Korea in their 45-minute meeting, a US official said in an e-mailed statement, according to Reuters.

The meeting is the first of two days of talks with Chinese officials for Lew, who plans to broach some sensitive subjects, including allegations that China has been spying on US businesses online and that the government is keeping the value of the yuan too low, Bloomberg Businessweek reported.

"I can say we have a seamless connection," Xi said at a press conference today, according to the Australian. "In the China and US relationship, we have enormous shared interest but of course, unavoidably, we have some differences. There is mutual benefit if we approach this relationship from a strategic and long-term perspective."

"The (U.S.) president is firmly committed to building a relationship of growing strength where we cooperate on issues of economic and strategic importance, understanding that we will each have to meet our own responsibilities, but we'll also have to manage our differences," Lew said at the media event, according to Reuters.

According to Reuters:

Washington is eager for China to move toward a more consumer-oriented economy and away from investment and export-driven growth, which has contributed to a record-high $315 billion U.S. trade deficit with China last year.

“The fact that Lew chose China as his first foreign visit and that he will be the new Chinese economic team’s first foreign visitor highlights how important each country has become to the other’s economic agenda,” David Loevinger, an analyst at TCW Group Inc., told Bloomberg Businessweek.

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