Assistant FM outlines upcoming Xi-Obama summit

Updated: 2013-05-29 23:52


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BEIJING - The upcoming China-US presidential summit in California reflects the importance and uniqueness of bilateral relations, a Foreign Ministry official said on Wednesday.

The summit between Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Barack Obama is scheduled for June 7-8 in Rancho Mirage, California.

It will be the first face-to-face meeting between the presidents of China and the United States since both nations carried out their most recent leadership transitions, Zheng Zeguang, assistant Chinese foreign minister, told a press briefing.

"Both sides believe the summit arrangement is appropriate and shows the importance and uniqueness of China-US relations," Zheng said.

He said China-US relations are entering an historic period, facing important strategic opportunities.

"Both sides expect their presidents to meet at an early date so as to communicate and outline the future of China-US relations," according to Zheng.

During the summit, Xi and Obama will have extensive and in-depth discussions of important and strategic issues of common concern, deepen understanding, enhance strategic trust, promote pragmatic cooperation and give guidance on building a new type of relations between big powers, the assistant foreign minister said.

Zheng added that China believes the visit, with joint efforts, will make positive progress and play an important role in promoting China-US cooperation.

He recalled a telephone discussion between Xi and Obama in March, saying the leaders reaffirmed their commitment to developing China-US cooperative relations.

Zheng also reviewed a spate of visits to China over the past few months by US officials and military leader, including Secretary of State John Kerry, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew and Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey.

US National Security Adviser Thomas Donilon just concluded his three-day visit to Beijing, which aimed at preparing for the Xi-Obama summit, Zheng noted.

China and the United States are advancing their cooperation in trade and economics, energy, environmental protection and people-to-people exchanges, the assistant foreign minister believes.

The two countries are stepping up their communication and coordination on international issues including the situations on the Korean peninsula and in Iran and Syria, promoting global economic recovery and tackling climate change.

"China is the biggest developing country while the United States is the biggest developed country. By whatever definition, China-US relations are of global influence and strategic significance," Zheng said.

He told the assembled media that reality has proved that stable and developing bilateral relations have not only benefited the two peoples, but also promoted peace, stability and prosperity in Asia, the Pacific region and the world.

The two countries have extensive common interests and broad room for cooperation, covering issues ranging from economic development to global challenges, according to Zheng, who acknowledged that they have some differences which require effective control and proper management.

"China would like to work with the United States to follow the consensus of leaders, innovate in thinking, take action, step up communication and coordination, promote exchanges and cooperation, and jointly build a China-US cooperative partnership featuring mutual trust and common prosperity," he said.