The United States and China on Wednesday announced a joint plan unprecedented to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases by 2030, the most important point of a series of intensive bilateral talks between President Barack Obama and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.
US and China have strong economic and trade ties, but have disagreed on a range of issues, from Beijing’s territorial claims in the East and Southeast Asia to cyber espionage, trade and human rights. Obama, who met with Xi in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing for their first formal talks in more than a year after a dinner the night before, said he welcomed a China that is peaceful, prosperous and stable.
On Tuesday, the two leaders spoke for five hours during and after dinner, two hours longer than expected, officials said. Obama said China and the United States have significant differences, but was encouraged by the willingness of Xi to participate constructively.
“There are important differences that we have both in practice and in the vision of our respective countries and our conduct in foreign policy,” he said. “But I was encouraged by his good will, Mr. President, to engage in constructive dialogue,” Obama said.
“Our two countries have huge interest in each other’s success,” Obama said. “The United States welcomes a China that is peaceful, prosperous and stable.” Xi told Obama that China and the US should expand the areas in which they can and must cooperate.
Although US officials expressed low expectations of significant achievement before the trip, both sides have made a number of significant achievements quite modest during the visit visas, trade, climate and military ties.
Still, despite the warmth shown by the two leaders during their public interactions, especially at a summit of leaders of the Asia-Pacific region in the past two days, there are still profound differences.
Obama told Xi that the US would like the elections in the Chinese territory of Hong Kong were free and fair and reflected the will of the people, creating a replica of Xi to reporters, he said that what happens in Hong Kong is a matter Intern China.
Xi downplayed the controversy over competing visions for free trade in the Asia Pacific, which was the background of the forum Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) at the beginning of the week.
Washington is working on an agreement of 12 countries, the Trans Society (TPP), which excludes China and is widely seen as the centerpiece of Obama’s policy in the area.
But Beijing had used APEC to promote a study on the Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific (FTAAP), a framework that some have seen as a counter to the TPP.
“I see that none of the regional free trade agreements aiming to China. China has committed to open regionalism and believe that the various regional cooperation initiatives could interact positively with each other. That is the case right now,” said Xi.
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