‘Bei­jing and US must co­op­er­ate’

Work­ing to­gether for com­mon good the only cor­rect choice, says Xi

The Star Malaysia - - World -

BEI­JING: As China and the US un­der a new pres­i­dent look to chart a fresh course in their re­la­tion­ship, Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping has called co­op­er­a­tion “the only cor­rect choice”.

“The com­mon in­ter­ests of China and the US far ex­ceed our dif­fer­ences, and co­op­er­a­tion is the only cor­rect choice for both sides,” he said, adding that Sino-US diplo­matic ties were im­por­tant to not just for the two ma­jor pow­ers but also the world.

“We need to strengthen strate­gic mu­tual trust and in­crease mu­tual aware­ness,” Xi told vis­it­ing US Sec­re­tary of State Rex Tiller­son when they met in the Great Hall of the Peo­ple yes­ter­day.

Tiller­son, vis­it­ing China for the first time since tak­ing up his post, told Xi : “We know that through fur­ther di­a­logue, we will achieve a greater un­der­stand­ing that will lead to a ... strength­en­ing of the ties be­tween China and the United States and set the tone for our fu­ture re­la­tion­ship of co­op­er­a­tion.”

The two sides are pre­par­ing for a sum­mit meet­ing be­tween Xi and his US coun­ter­part, Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump, the first time the two will meet.

They have spo­ken on the phone twice – af­ter Trump won the Nov 8 elec­tion and af­ter he took of­fice in Jan­uary.

The lead­ers are ex­pected to meet next month in the US, at a time when dif­fer­ences have sharp­ened be­tween the two pow­ers over is­sues such as the North Korean nu­clear and mis­sile pro­grammes and mari- time dis­putes in the East China and South China seas.

Trump’s ac­cu­sa­tion that China is hurt­ing US busi­nesses and work­ers with its trade pol­icy and his threats of re­tal­i­a­tion have added un­cer­tainty to the re­la­tion­ship.

Xi yes­ter­day called for the strength­en­ing of com­mu­ni­ca­tion and co­or­di­na­tion on the re­gion’s “hot is­sues” and for both sides to “re­spect each other’s core in­ter­ests and ma­jor con­cerns”, ac­cord­ing to state me­dia. — The Straits Times / Asia News Net­work

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