President Xi Jinping on Saturday met with visiting U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to discuss bilateral ties and issues of common concern.
Xi first recalled Kerry’s last visit to China as chairman of the U.S. Senate foreign relations committee in May 2009.
Xi described Kerry as a veteran U.S. statesman, adding that he appreciates Kerry’s commitment to developing U.S.-China ties.
Kerry is the second U.S. Cabinet member Xi has met since becoming president in March, following U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew, who visited Beijing in March.
“These meetings have reflected the great importance both China and the United States have placed on bilateral ties,” Xi said.
Xi said China-U.S. relations are in a new historic period, referring to the inception of the new governments of both countries.
Xi recalled a telephone discussion with U.S. President Barack Obama on the day Xi was elected, saying they reaffirmed their commitment to developing new China-U.S. relations.
Xi called on both countries to take a strategic and long-term view of China-U.S. relations, carry out dialogue and cooperation in a positive attitude, deal with their differences in the spirit of mutual respect and substantiate their partnership.
“We should blaze a trail for a new type of relations between major powers that features equality, mutual trust, tolerance, mutual learning, cooperation and common prosperity,” Xi said.
Xi highlighted the importance of high-level communications, saying he would like to maintain contact with President Obama and calling for the two countries to make the best of China-U.S. strategic and economic dialogues and high-level consultations on people-to-people exchanges.
On the economic front, Xi called for more cooperation in new areas and positive measures that can address mutual concerns and discourage the politicization of economic issues.
Xi said the two countries should observe the three China-U.S. joint communiques, respect each other’s core interests, properly tackle differences and protect overall relations from major intervention.
Xi urged the two countries to interact positively in the Asia-Pacific region, step up communication and coordination on regional and international issues and safeguard regional and world peace, stability and prosperity.
Xi said he expects Kerry’s visit, his first to China since taking office in February, will maintain momentum for the development of bilateral relations.
“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.”
Kerry said the United States would like to work with China to follow the requests of the presidents of both countries, increase high-level visits and jointly tackle challenges.
Premier Li Keqiang and Foreign Minister Wang Yi also spoke with Kerry during his visit.
China is the second leg of Kerry’s four-day east Asia tour, which has also taken him to the Republic of Korea. He will fly to Japan on Sunday.