Obama hosts private dinner for Xi ahead of official talks

US President Obama hosts private dinner for Chinese President Xi ahead of official talks with focus on cyber security, South China Sea, climate change

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

US President Barack Obama (L) chats with Chinese President Xi Jinping as they walk from the West Wing of the White House to a private dinner across the street at Blair House, in Washington, September 24, 2015

Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in Washington DC on Thursday for his official visit and was greeted by US President Barack Obama at the White House.

Xi attended a private dinner held by Obama as both US and Chinese aides worked on details of the official talks and a joint press conference scheduled to be held on Friday.

The visit comes at a time of increased tension between the world’s two largest economies over accusations against China for hacking US federal institutions and private companies and its land reclamations over the South China Sea.

Emphasizing on US concerns over cyber security, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said that “we have made clear to the Chinese both publicly and private that issues related to cyber security - and our concerns with China's conduct in cyberspace - will feature prominently on the agenda."

No major breakthrough is expected to be achieved on the issue during the visit.

“The Chinese government will not, in whatever form, engage in commercial theft, hacking against government networks, crimes that must be punished in accordance with the law and relevant international treaties,” Xi said denying the allegations in Seattle, where he started his US visit.

The leaders are expected to announce a deal to fight climate change and express their common vision over the issue on Friday before a global summit in Paris later this year.

US and China have already expressed their commitment to reduce carbon emissions and take necessary measures against the climate change last year.

Another issue on the agenda will be economic reforms the US demands from China, for a more open market Xi’s meeting with US business leaders before arriving to Washington DC increased prospects for progress on the issue.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, front-row-center, poses for a photo with a group of CEOs and other executives including Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, Apple's Tim Cook and Intel's Brian Krzanich at Microsoft's main campus in Redmond, Wash

After meeting with executives of US tech companies including Apple, Microsoft and Boeing among many others in Seattle, Chinese President Xi Jinping promised on Wednesday to ease barriers on foreign investment.

“We are working to create a new open economic system, push forward reform of foreign investment management and greatly reduce the restrictions on foreign investment," Xi said.

After his official meetings in the US capitol, Chinese president will travel to New York to speak at the 70th annual UN general assembly on Sept. 28.


TRTWorld and agencies