Washington D.C : American President Barrack Obama welcomed Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China, to the White House for an official State Visit. This reciprocated President Obama’s State Visit to China in November 2014, making it the tenth state affair of the Obama Administration.
The visit was an opportunity for the two leaders to discuss a range of global, regional, and bilateral issues of interest to both countries, and to outline a joint vision for an international agreement on climate change that builds upon last year’s historic announcement.
In a joint statement released by both state heads, co-operation found a key mention. Obama welcomed President Xi back to the White House and recalled how he first hosted him here three years ago when he was Vice President. Obama said that as a result of mutual efforts, both nations are working together more closely across a broader range of critical issues — and this cooperation is delivering results, for both our nations and the world.
Obama said, since he took office, American exports to China have nearly doubled and now support nearly one million American jobs. Chinese investment in the United States helped support jobs across our country. Both countries partner to address global challenges, whether it’s promoting nuclear security, combating piracy off the Horn of Africa, encouraging development and reconciliation in Afghanistan, and helping to end the Ebola epidemic in West Africa.
Referring to the historic climate change announcements that was made last year in Beijing, Obama said, that move encouraged other countries to step up, as well, increasing the prospects for a stronger global agreement this year. And as a member of the P5+1, China was critical to both the sanctions regime that brought Iran to the negotiating table and to the talks that produced the comprehensive deal to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.
He added, greater prosperity and greater security — that’s what American and Chinese cooperation can deliver. That’s why, the United States welcomes the rise of a China that is peaceful, stable, prosperous, and a responsible player in global affairs. And This government is committed to expanding our cooperation, even as we address disagreements candidly and constructively.
Talking on specifics, Obama siad – with respect to our economic relationship, America and China have agreed to step up their work towards a high-standard bilateral investment treaty that would help level the playing field for American companies. He said – We’ve committed ourselves to a set of principles for trade in information technologies, including protection of innovation and intellectual property. President Xi discussed his commitment to accelerate market reforms, avoid devaluing China’s currency, and have China play a greater role in upholding the rules-based system that underpins the global economy — all of which are steps we very much support.
Over cyber security threats, Obama stated – I raised once again our very serious concerns about growing cyber-threats to American companies and American citizens. I indicated that it has to stop. The United States government does not engage in cyber economic espionage for commercial gain. And today, I can announce that our two countries have reached a common understanding on the way forward. We’ve agreed that neither the U.S. or the Chinese government will conduct or knowingly support cyber-enabled theft of intellectual property, including trade secrets or other confidential business information for commercial advantage. In addition, we’ll work together, and with other nations, to promote international rules of the road for appropriate conduct in cyberspace.
On climate committments, Obama said – We’re building on last year’s climate commitments. Last month, I issued our Clean Power Plan to help reduce America’s carbon emissions. Today, I want to commend China for announcing that it will begin a national market-based cap-and-trade system to limit emissions from some of its largest sectors. Last year, I announced our pledge of $3 billion to the Green Climate Fund to help developing nations deal with climate change. Today, I welcome China’s major commitment of climate finance for the most vulnerable countries as well.
With respect to security in the Asia Pacific, Obama said that both countries have agreed to new channels of communication to reduce the risks of miscalculations between their militaries. The United States and China have reaffirmed their commitment to the complete and verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in a peaceful manner, and demand the full implementation of all relevant U.N. Security Council resolutions and we will not accept North Korea as a nuclear weapon state.
Being candid on South China Seas discussions with Xi, Obama reiterated the right of all countries to freedom of navigation and overflight and to unimpeded commerce. United States will continue to sail, fly and operate anywhere that international law allows. US has significant concerns over land reclamation, construction and the militarization of disputed areas, which makes it harder for countries in the region to resolve disagreements peacefully. And I encouraged a resolution between claimants in these areas. We are not a claimant; we just want to make sure that the rules of the road are upheld.
Obama spoke on international security scenarioa, saying – at the United Nations in the coming days, U.S. and China will bring countries together to promote development in Afghanistan, and we’ll work with our many partners to strengthen international peacekeeping. We agree that all parties, including Iran, need to fully implement the nuclear deal, and that U.N. Security Council resolutions need to be fully enforced.
For the first time, the U.S. and China will also formally partner to promote global development. Building on our efforts against Ebola, we’ll work to strengthen global health security. We’ll expand our joint efforts on humanitarian assistance, disaster response, agricultural development and food security. And given China’s success in lifting hundreds of millions of people out of poverty — which is one of the most remarkable achievements in human history — we will help rally the world this weekend around new development goals, including our goal to end extreme poverty.
Speaking on human rights, Obama mentioned that America has pledged unwavering support for the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all people, including freedom of assembly and expression, freedom of the press and freedom of religion. He added – preventing journalists, lawyers, NGOs and civil society groups from operating freely, or closing churches and denying ethnic minorities equal treatment are all problematic, in our view, and actually prevent China and its people from realizing its full potential.
Obama concluded by saying – we are taking more steps to expand the connections between our two peoples. We launch a new initiative to boost tourism between our countries in the coming months. And just as children across China learn English, we’re starting a new initiative called “1 Million Strong” to encourage 1 million American students to learn Mandarin Chinese over the next five years.
President Xi Jinping began his statement by thanking the host for gracious hospitality and thoughtful arrangements and warm reception.He said, China is making all-around efforts to deepen comprehensive reform, to build law-based governance, to enforce strict party discipline, so as to achieve the grand goal of building a society of initial prosperity in all respects. The reform at opening up China will not stop.
China is firmly committed to the path of peaceful development. It is committed to growing friendship and cooperative relations with all countries in the world. To work with the United States to build the new model of major-country relationship without conflict, without confrontation, with mutual respect and win-win cooperation is a priority in China’s foreign policy.
Xi agreed to follow the consensus, expand the practical cooperation in various areas at the bilateral, regional, and global level, and manage differences and sensitive issues in constructive manner, and to advance the new model of major-country relationship between China and the United States.
Xi said, China and US have agreed to deepen the practical cooperation in various areas at the bilateral scope. We have agreed to vigorously push forward the bilateral investment treaty negotiation, speed up the pace of the work so as to achieve a high standard and balanced agreement.
We will expand mutually beneficial cooperation in energy, environmental protection, science and technology, aviation, infrastructure, agriculture, health and other areas. The two governments and relevant agencies have signed many cooperation agreements, and our businesses have signed a series of commercial contact.
He said, China will also step up cooperation within G20, the World Bank, IMF, and other multilateral mechanisms. Replying to Obama’s statement, Xi said – We have truly affirmed the new progress made in the confidence-building mechanisms between the two militaries. We have agreed to step up exchanges in policy dialogues between the two militaries at all levels, hold more joint exercises and training. We believe that terrorism is the common enemy of mankind, and we have agreed to step up multilateral and bilateral counterterrorism cooperation. We have decided to increase communication and cooperation on counter-piracy, humanitarian assistance, and disaster reduction, and international peacekeeping operation, and also anti-corruption — law enforcement cooperation to jointly fight against all kinds of transnational corruption crimes.
On Asia Pacific, Xi Jinping added -We have in-depth discussion on the situation of the Asia Pacific. And we believe that China and the United States have extensive common interests in this region, and we should continue to deepen dialogue and cooperation on regional affairs and work together to promote active interactions and inclusive cooperation in the Asia Pacific, and work with countries in the Asia Pacific to promote peace, stability, and prosperity in this region.
Xi further stated – China is committed to the path of peaceful development and a neighboring foreign policy characterized by good neighborliness and partnership with our neighbors. Islands in the South China Sea since ancient times are China’s territory. We have the right to uphold our own territorial sovereignty and lawful and legitimate maritime rights and interests. We are committed to maintaining peace and stability in the South China Sea, managing differences and disputes through dialogue, and addressing disputes through negotiation, consultation, and peaceful manner, and exploring ways to achieve mutual benefit through cooperation. We’re committed to respecting and upholding the freedom of navigation and overflight that countries enjoy according to international law. Relevant construction activities that China are undertaking in the island of South — Nansha Islands do not target or impact any country, and China does not intend to pursue militarization.
Jinping said – China and the United States have a lot of common interests on the issue of South China Sea. We both support peace and stability of the South China Sea. The countries directly involved should address their dispute through negotiation, consultation and in peaceful means. And we support freedom of navigation and overflight of countries according to international law and the management of differences through dialogue, and full and effective implementation of DOC and an early conclusion of the consultation of COC based on consensus-building. We have agreed to maintain constructive communication on relevant issues.
Responding to cyber threats mentioned by Obama, Xi said – China and the United States are two major cyber countries and we should strengthen dialogue and cooperation. Confrontation and friction are not made by choice for both sides. During my visit, competent authorities of both countries have reached important consensus on joint fight against cyber-crimes. Both sides agree to step up crime cases, investigation assistance and information-sharing. And both government will not be engaged in or knowingly support online theft of intellectual properties. And we will explore the formulation of appropriate state, behavior and norms of the cyberspace. And we will establish a high-level joint dialogue mechanism on the fight against cyber-crimes and related issues, and to establish hotline links.
On nuclear regime, Xi said – We have agreed to firmly uphold the international nuclear non-proliferation regime. President Obama and I welcome the comprehensive Joint Plan of Action reached by relevant parties regarding the Iranian nuclear issue. We reaffirmed that all relevant parties should undertake to implement the agreement fully, and work together to implement all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions.
On Korean peninsula, Xi said – We reaffirm our commitment to realize the complete and verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in peaceful way. And we oppose any action that might cause tension in the Korean Peninsula or violate U.N. Security Council resolution. We believe that the September the 19th joint statement of the Six-Party talks and relevant U.N. Security Council resolutions should be implemented in full, and all relevant parties should work together to firmly advance the denuclearization process of the Korean Peninsula, and maintain peace and stability so as to achieve enduring peace and stability in Northeast Asia.
Reciprocating on hospitality, Xi said – We have decided to make 2016 a year of tourism for China and the United States. In the next three years, we will fund a total of 50,000 students to study in each other’s countries. We also welcome the United States’ decision to extend the 100,000 Strong initiative from universities to elementary and secondary schools, and by 2020, 1 million American students will learn Mandarin.