Chinese state media on Wednesday welcomed news of the first summit between President Xi Jinping and his US counterpart Barack Obama, saying the meeting will help “reduce suspicions” in the relationship.
The talks, the first since Xi was installed as Chinese leader and Obama began his second term, will be held in California on June 7 and 8, with ties strained by allegations of cyber spying, tensions in the Pacific and trade disputes.
“It’s vital for us to establish confidence that the two countries are partners instead of rivals,” the Global Times newspaper said in an editorial following official announcements on Tuesday that Xi would visit the US.
“If both sides still attach importance to mutual trust then a strong positive signal is urgently needed to reduce suspicions,” the paper added, under the headline “Xi, Obama meeting coming at right time”.
The editorial did not go into detail on specific issues of conflict between the world’s top two economies, but acknowledged that “as two big countries with their own interests, problems certainly exist between China and the US”.
The China Daily newspaper called for co-operation in the Asia-Pacific to avoid tensions emanating from the US “pivot” to the region, a policy widely seen as an attempt to counter Beijing’s growing power among its neighbours.
“The two should step up their co-operation in the Asia-Pacific so that the negative impact of the US strategic rebalancing to the region can be minimised and a much-speculated head on conflict between the two can be avoided,” it said in an editorial.
It also said the world would be looking to Beijing and Washington to address major issues, citing the Syrian crisis and tensions on the Korean peninsula.
Washington has repeatedly called for Beijing to do more to rein in its nuclear-armed ally North Korea.
The White House also says US officials frequently raise the issue of Chinese cyber spying with top leaders in Beijing.
The two countries frequently swap accusations over trade disputes across their vast and interdependent economic relationship.