Cui hails Obama's China trip

Updated: 2014-11-20 13:33

By Chen Weihua in Washington(China Daily USA)

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 Cui hails Obama's China trip

Stapleton Roy (left), former US ambassador to China, presents a Lifetime Achievement Award in US-China Relations to Chas Freeman Jr, formerly a US assistant secretary of defense and US ambassador to Saudi Arabia, at a gala dinner held by the US-China Policy Foundation on Wednesday evening in Washington. Chen Weihua / China Daily

Ambassador described Xi-Obama discussion as constructive, candid

Chinese Ambassador to the US Cui Tiankai called US President Barack Obama's trip to China a week ago a great success.

Speaking at the annual gala dinner of the US-China Policy Foundation on Wednesday evening in Washington's Mayflower hotel, Cui, who said he followed Obama during all his activities in China, said the two presidents, Obama and President Xi Jinping, had long hours of meetings in Beijing.

He said the two presidents not only discussed areas where the two countries can cooperate with each other, they also spent a lot of time talking to each other about areas where the two countries still have differences or disagreements.

He described the discussion as constructive, candid and calm, and each man had tried to understand the other's perspective.

"Though some of the differences and disagreements are still there, their mutual understanding is much better," Cui said.

While mutual agreements on military-to-military confidence-building, agreements on climate change, and visa arrangements announced after the meetings have drawn public attention, "what is more important is the personal mutual understanding and confidence between the two presidents", Cui said.

"I can tell you that this is a very great and successful visit," Cui told an audience made up of people who have worked for decades on US-China relations.

He said Obama meeting all seven members of the standing committee of the Politburo of the CPC Central Committee was "very rare".

Cui said that the first of a number of proposals Xi made to Obama was to have more direct and high-level contacts. "This proposal was very well received by President Obama," Cui said.

"So generally speaking, I am quite confident about the prospect of our relationship,"

The Chinese ambassador noted that the two nations still have differences and disagreements, and there is a need to build more understanding and respect. Misperception and misunderstanding still exist between the two countries, he said.

He said the two countries' common interests have grown much broader, not just bilaterally, but internationally, citing shared interest in counterterrorism, non-proliferation, climate change and disease control.

Former US Ambassador to China Stapleton Roy also described Obama's trip to China as a success.

"One of the good things is that the two leaders are meeting on a regular basis and meeting for very substantive talks," he said.

Chas Freeman Jr, the former US assistant secretary of defense and a noted China hand, described the recent summit in Beijing as "really encouraging".

Freeman, who served as interpreter for President Richard Nixon during the historic trip to China in 1972, received the Lifetime Achievement Award in US-China Relations at the gala dinner.

Meanwhile, former US Sen. Chris Dodd, now chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America, received the Global Leadership Award. Dodd has been traveling between China and the US to promote exchange in the film industries. He is enthusiastic about the fast-expanding movie market in China.

The US-China Policy Foundation, set up in 1995, is a non-profit, non-partisan, non-advocacy organization that promotes a greater understanding between American and Chinese policymakers.