Look forward to meeting Obama: Xi

Seattle, Sep 23 (IANS) Chinese President Xi Jinping said looks forward to having “in-depth exchange of views” with President Barack Obama during his first state visit to the US.

Xi and First Lady Peng Liyuan were greeted on Tuesday by federal dignitaries led by US President Barack Obama’s representative, Washington Governor Jay Inslee, Global Times reported.

“I look forward to having in-depth exchange of views with President Obama” and engaging with the US public, Xi said in an arrival statement.

“I am confident that with concerted efforts of the two sides, my visit will yield fruitful results and bring China-US relations to an even higher level.”

During his stay in Seattle, which already hosted Chinese leaders Deng Xiaoping, Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao and maintains a 32-year-old sister-city relationship with the Chinese metropolis of Chongqing, Xi is scheduled to deliver a major policy speech on China-US ties.

He will also attend a China-US governors’ forum and an entrepreneurs symposium that gathers the two countries’ business bigwigs, and join students and teachers in a variety of school activities.

From the US West Coast hub, Xi will fly to Washington for a summit with Obama at the White House, where he will be honoured with a 21-gun salute and a state dinner.

The Xi-Obama meeting will be the fifth between the leaders. Obama paid a state visit to China in November. They also met in September 2013 and in March 2014 on the sidelines of two multi-lateral summits.

As interaction between the world’s largest developing and developed countries — which account for a third of global output, a quarter of human population and a fifth of world trade — gains more world-shaping influence, hopes are running high for Xi’s ongoing visit.

The trip will bear rich fruit, with the two countries poised to reach consensus in a wide range of areas, including trade, energy, finance and defence, and ink a trove of far-reaching deals, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said.

In the wake of China-US sparring over South China Sea, cyber security and some other matters, the upcoming Xi-Obama summit will mark “a turning point for the better”, said Yang Xiyu, a senior researcher with China Institute of International Studies, a Beijing-based think tank.

The Chinese president’s latest US tour will also take him to New York for his first appearance at the UN headquarters, where he will attend and host a series of summits and conferences on subjects such as climate change and meet with a number of national leaders.

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