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Xi, Obama meeting meaningful in forging relations


11:45, June 10, 2013

BEIJING, June 9 (Xinhua) -- The meeting between Xi Jinping and Barack Obama at Sunnylands marked a meaningful step forward in forging a new type of relations between China and the United States, scholars have said.

On June 7 and 8, Chinese President Xi met his U.S. counterpart Obama at Sunnylands, a 200-acre (81-hectare) Annenberg estate in Rancho Mirage, California. They exchanged views on domestic and foreign policies of the two countries as well as international and regional issues of common concern.

"Xi and Obama have acknowledged face-to-face that building a new type of relations between China and the U.S. is an important strategic goal," said Tao Wenzhao, a researcher at the Institute of American Studies of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

The significance of the meeting was brought to prominence because leaders of the two countries have set aims for future Sino-U.S. relations, he said.

At a joint press conference following their first face-to-face meeting on Friday, Xi called on both countries "to avoid the traditional path of inevitable confrontation between major countries and really embark on a new path."

The new type of relations was raised by China in 2012. Its significance was further highlighted when it was written in a report delivered to the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held in November.

Qu Xing, head of the Institute of International Studies, believed the key to developing such relations is to avoid confrontations between an established power and a rising power.

In the 20th Century, the most well-known confrontation was between the U.S. and the Soviet Union during the Cold War, which lasted for more than four decades and only ended after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

"It is also in the U.S. interest to avoid confrontation," Tao said. He believed the U.S. has responded positively on the development of building a new type of relations with China.

In a recent interview with the Chinese media, U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke said the U.S does not believe that an established power must be in conflict with a rising power. "That has been the old mentality." he said.

At a joint press conference following Xi and Obama's Friday meeting, Xi said both sides agreed to expand all levels of dialogue and communication to strengthen mutual understanding and trust.

Both sides agreed to step up cooperation in extensive fields such as economy and trade, energy, environment, people-to-people and cultural exchanges as well as local level exchanges.

The two sides also believed it was important to improve and strengthen the military-to-military relationship, and promote strong, sustainable and balanced economic growth in the Asia Pacific region and the world at large.

Tao Wenzhao said such agreements have showed, as the world's two largest economies, both China and the U.S. are committed to map out practical plans.

Qu Xing said the Sunnylands meeting represents a very successful attempt at advancing a new type of Sino-U.S. relations, and an important diplomatic achievement for China.

Despite much emphasis on fostering relations with major countries, the advancement of relations with developing nations remains important for China, said Tao.

Prior to his visit to the U.S., Xi paid state visits to Trinidad and Tobago, Costa Rica and Mexico. In March, Xi chose Russia, Tanzania, South Africa and the Republic of Congo as destinations of his first foreign trip since he became president, in the same month.

"China has not slacked in its efforts to strengthen ties with developing countries," said Qu.

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