By Shannon Najmabadi
On Saturday, US secretary of state John Kerry met with Chinese officials – including Premier Li Keqiang, President Xi Jinping, foreign minister Wang Yi and state councilor Yang Jiechi – to discuss bilateral cooperation between China and the US, as well as pressing international issues.
Kerry’s visit is part of a four-day east Asia tour and marks the second meeting Xi has had with a US cabinet member since becoming President. Treasury secretary Jacob Lew visited Beijing in March.
According to Xinhua:
“These meetings have reflected the great importance both China and the United States have placed on bilateral ties,” Xi said.
Xi called on both countries to take a strategic and long-term view of China-US relations, carry out dialogue and cooperation in a positive attitude, deal with their differences in the spirit of mutual respect and substantiate their partnership.
Both sides also emphasized the importance of high-level communications, and called for a joint effort to uphold regional and world peace.
“This is obviously a critical time with some very challenging issues,” Kerry told Xi. “Issues regarding the Korean peninsula, the challenge of Iran and nuclear weapons, Syria and the Middle East, and economies around the world are in need of a boost.”
They also expressed a desire to step up cooperation, forge a respectful and mutually beneficial relationship, and jointly address global challenges.
More than 40 years of development in China-US relations have shown that common interests are much bigger than the differences between the two nations, Li said, noting that China will work with the United States to find a path for a new type of relations between two major powers based on mutual respect, increased mutual trust, expanded cooperation and appropriate settlement of differences.
Speaking to journalists after meeting with the Chinese leaders, Kerry said that Chinese investment is welcomed in the US and that the two countries will hold the fifth China-US Strategic Economic Dialogue in July. He also noted that China and the US will work together to safeguard cyber security and will jointly address regional problems, starting with finding a peaceful solution to the situation on the Korean Peninsula (perhaps by enlisting Dennis Rodman as peace envoy).