Xi, Obama Plan June Summit in California

The White House announced Monday that U.S. President and Chinese President Xi Jinping will meet in California next month for the first time since Xi’s promotion as China’s new leader, according to The New York Times:

Mr. Obama and Mr. Xi will meet on June 7 and 8 at Sunnylands, the Walter and Leonore Annenberg estate in Southern California, the White House said. Mr. Obama already had travel scheduled on the West Coast at that time, officials said, so they decided that Sunnylands, a less formal setting, would provide a better environment for the two men to get to know each other. To prepare for the meeting, Thomas E. Donilon, the president’s national security adviser, will travel to Beijing from May 26 to 28.

“The U.S.-China agenda is big and complex, and we have a lot of issues to discuss and work though,” said Caitlin Hayden, a spokeswoman for the White House. “As we have said before, the relationship has elements of cooperation and elements of competition. We have no illusions about this. Our approach to China seeks to expand the areas of cooperation in managing regional and global challenges, and we seek to manage our differences in a way that prevents disruptive and unhealthy competition from undermining our interests and those of our allies in Asia.”

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The two leaders will attempt to “establish common ground after an awkward three-year period which has demonstrated many of their competing interests,” write Geoff Dyer and Victor Mallet of The Financial Times. The agenda will likely include North Korea, cyber security, the ongoing dispute in the South and East China Seas, as well as a range of economic issues, according to The Los Angeles Times.

In Beijing, Reuters reports that a spokesman for the Foreign Ministry said China is willing to put its best foot forward to bolster ties with the United States:

“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- 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.

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