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UPDATED: September 11, 2015
Xi's Trip to 'Chart Course' for Ties

President Xi Jinping and his United States counterpart President Barack Obama will "further chart the course of the China-US relationship" during Xi's first state visit to the US later this month, State Councilor Yang Jiechi said in an interview with China Daily.

Yang made the remarks while briefing on Xi's first state visit to the US since he took office as the president in 2013.

Xi and Obama had met four times since Xi came to office, marked by productive discussions at Sunnylands, California, in 2013 and in Yingtai, Beijing, in 2014.

Yang said the two presidents will hold in-depth talks and cover "all major aspects" of ties.

The two leaders will "further chart the course of the China-U.S. relationship, particularly the new model of major-country relationship", and discuss practical cooperation, while "substantive results will come out of that".

The two countries will also achieve a great deal for the Asia-Pacific region and for the world as a whole, and Xi will reach out to a cross-section of American society to get in touch with people from various walks of life, Yang added.

The world's two largest economies have seen an increasingly interwoven relationship as their annual trade exceeded $550 billion last year while many global and regional hot issues depend on their cooperation.

But their ties have also seen certain disputes, including issues on the South China Sea and cybersecurity.

On the South China Sea issue, Yang said the US is not a direct party to the disputes, and he hoped that the U.S. would not get involved, as it has promised, and expressed a desire for both countries to "stay in close touch" despite the differences.

"It is important for both countries to stay in close touch even if they have different perceptions and views," he said, reiterating China's commitment to a peaceful resolution of the issue.

Yang dismissed ideas that disputes between China and the U.S., particularly those in the Asia-Pacific region, are forcing some regional countries to take sides.

"If there are friends of China who would like to be friends of the U.S. or the other way around, both countries should welcome that, and we should have more mutual friends," he added.

On the cybersecurity issue, Yang said China itself is a victim of hacking, and China and the U.S. actually can make cybersecurity a point of cooperation.

"We hope China, the United States and other countries can work together to work out the rules for cybersecurity in the international arena in the spirit of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit," Yang said.

Yang noted bilateral progress in boosting two-way trade, collaboration on international affairs, increasingly stronger military ties and visa facilitation.

This shows that "a new model of major country relationship between our two countries will work in the best interests of China and the U.S., and for the rest of the world", he said.

On bilateral cooperation, Yang said: "There are a host of areas where China and the US can, and should, cooperate with each other."

The joint announcement to address climate change last year was well received globally, and climate change issues "will be part of the agenda" for Xi' visit, and it is important for developed countries to work with the world to make the Paris Conference later this year a success, Yang said.

Two anniversaries

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, and China and the U.S. were allies during the war against Japanese aggression.

Yang said: "We will never forget this friendship between China and the U.S."

Yang noted that the United Nations was established after the war, and China is "both a contributor and a builder" of this international system, and Beijing believes the UN "should play an even bigger role".

As this year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the UN, Yang confirmed that Xi will attend a series of UN summits after his visit to the US, and his presence is "a concrete example to show our commitment and support for the UN system".

The president will address the General Debate of the UN General Assembly, expound on China's positions on the global political landscape and world order, Yang said.

Xi will also attend the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Summit and will witness the adoption of the Post-2015 Development Agenda along with other leaders, Yang added.

China has taken initiatives on its own because Xi and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will co-host a summit on women's empowerment and a roundtable discussion for South-South cooperation, Yang said.

The president will also propose some important action on China's part as well, Yang said.

(China Daily September 11, 2015)

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