Obama to meet with China's Xi in California June 7-8

WASHINGTON Tue May 21, 2013 5:18am EDT

U.S. President Barack Obama listens while meeting with Myanmar's President Thein Sein in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington May 20, 2013. REUTERS/Larry Downing

U.S. President Barack Obama listens while meeting with Myanmar's President Thein Sein in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington May 20, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Larry Downing

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping will hold their first meeting since Xi became president in March when they sit down for a June 7-8 summit in Rancho Mirage, California, the White House announced on Monday.

The two leaders are likely to discuss ways to apply pressure on North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons program after a period of bellicose rhetoric and threats from Pyongyang.

The United States also has concerns about cyber attacks it says are emanating from China. Washington would also like China to allow its currency to rise against the dollar to improve U.S. trade.

American concerns about tensions in the South China Sea due to conflicting territorial claims are also a possible topic of discussion.

"President Obama and President Xi will hold in-depth discussions on a wide range of bilateral, regional and global issues," the White House said in a statement.

"They will review progress and challenges in U.S.-China relations over the past four years and discuss ways to enhance cooperation, while constructively managing our differences, in the years ahead," it said.

The meeting will be the first between the two leaders since Xi took over as China's president in March.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said China was willing to work with the United States to strengthen dialogue and cooperation in relations, which he said were "at a new historical period".

"Of course, some differences exist between China and the United States, which require proper and active management by both sides," Hong said. "This year, Sino-U.S. relations have got off to a good start and are facing an important opportunity for development."

Hong said the two leaders would have "comprehensive and in-depth discussions" on a range of issues.

The leaders will meet at Sunnylands, a 200-acre (80-hectare) estate on Bob Hope Drive in Rancho Mirage, California. Sunnylands is the former estate of the late philanthropist Walter Annenberg, who frequently hosted President Ronald Reagan there.

The fact that they will devote two days to the talks shows an intent by the two leaders to build a closer relationship. White House National Security Adviser Tom Donilon will travel to Beijing to meet Chinese officials May 26-28 to prepare for the Xi visit.

As part of his trip to the Americas, Xi will also make state visits to Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago and Costa Rica, China's Foreign Ministry said.

(Reporting by Jeff Mason and Steve Holland in Washington; Additional reporting by Adam Jourdan in Shanghai and Sui-Lee Wee in Beijing; Editing by Eric Beech and Robert Birsel)

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Comments (2)
CountryPride wrote:
OWEbama: Please Mr. Xi, would you stop stealing our trade secrets. Otherwise I will have to give you a stern reminder in the future.
Xi: Sure, just give us a few more years because by then we will have everything we need and won’t need you anymore.
OWEbama: I will give you California if you stop now.
Xi: Haha, you’re joking right? How can you give me something we already own.
Xi: If you ever want to visit our province of California in the future please contact one of my low level servants to see if we can fit you in our schedule to visit.

May 21, 2013 7:20am EDT  --  Report as abuse
tiktin wrote:
This is a hugely important meeting which will decide the future of the world. It brings home to us as ordinary citizens how helpless we are once we have elected our leaders or once they have seized power. Life and death, war and peace, now depends on the psychology of these two men, whether or not they can get along, whether or not they have the maturity and the desire to seek peace, or whether foolish pride, immaturity or wickedness will take them down the road to war. Twice in the twentieth century, in l914 and again in l939, it was the latter for the important statesmen of the time. Let us pray that history does not repeat itself.

May 21, 2013 3:03pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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