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On the Record

Xi’s U.S. visit clear sign of China’s commitment to cooperation

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s upcoming visit to the United States is a clear sign of China’s determination to pursue a cooperative path in Sino-U.S. relations, a top China expert has said.

“President Xi has a good chance to make a convincing case that the U.S. and China need each other,” Li Cheng, director of the John L. Thornton China Center at the U.S. think tank Brookings Institution, told Xinhua in an interview. “There is no other choice, except to move forward for cooperation in multiple areas.”

There are many areas, including the global economy, climate change, cyber security, anti-terrorism and nuclear non-proliferation, in which China and the United States should cooperate and play a positive role, Li said.

President Xi’s first state visit to the United States, the expert said, will also help clarify some misunderstandings between the two countries, and undermine some of the worries or unfounded fears about a more confrontational relationship.

Xi will “rise to the occasion and make sure that the most important bilateral relationship in the 21st century will move in the right direction,” Li said, stressing that it is as important for the Chinese president to engage with Washington’s decision-makers as to reach out to the American public.

While disagreeing with the notion that Sino-U.S. ties have reached a tipping point, Li said the relationship has “entered a new period, which is colored by uncertainties.” He hoped Xi’s visit will be “historical” at this critical moment to express China’s good will.

“There are some disputes (between China and the United States) and mutual criticism. That’s fine,” Li said. “But the important thing is that we should not lose the big picture. We should not let some of the noises or narrow-minded strategy thinking prevent us from cooperating.”

Asked about prospective achievements during the upcoming visit, Li said it is not easy to predict the “headline news” during the visit, but he expected that Xi and his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama will reach broad consensus on cyber security.

The expert said that the United States and China, the two largest economies in the world, will continue to make strides in their cooperation on the economic front, as global economic rebalancing needs China’s participation.

“I hope Xi Jinping’s visit will remind us that we have so many shared interests, and so strong a need to build common ground,” Li said.

This interview was originally published by

Xinhua News

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