US President Barack Obama and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping expressed hopethat their countries will be able to strengthen bilateral relations in the coming years, including in areas they currently differ on, such as trade, innovation and human rights.
Obama and Xi met on Saturday in Peruvian capital Lima on the sidelines of the Leaders’ Summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, which concludes Sunday, Efe news reported.
Avoiding a direct reference to US President-elect Donald Trump, Xi said the two nations’ bilateral relations are at a “hinge moment” and hoped for a smooth transition.
Obama called US-China relations the most important in the world, explaining that not just their respective peoples stood to gain from a constructive relationship between the two countries.
Recalling that it was his ninth meeting with his Chinese counterpart, Obama said he was looking forward to a sincere dialogue on issues they still disagree on.
He said the two countries had established an effective partnership over the last few years to face global challenges related to growth, preventing Iran from developing nuclear arms, the Ebola epidemic and the fight against climate change.
Stressing the key role played by US and China in pressing for global climate action, he said the two countries had shown what could be achieved when they decided to work together.
The North American leader underlined the tasks ahead of the world’s two largest economies, including a transition toward a more sustainable model in keeping with the Paris Agreement, and said the US and China stood firmly united in their opposition to North Korean provocations.
Meanwhile, Xi said China’s relations with the US under Obama’s leadership had been characterized by close communication and continuous growth, especially on the matters of climate change and the Korean peninsula.
This weekend, Obama and Xi are meeting with leaders of the other 19 countries forming part of APEC, a bloc that represents 54 per cent of the global GDP and accounts for 50.3 per cent of world exports, with a market of over 2.8 billion people.