Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang told visiting U.S. National Security Adviser Tom Donilon that the two countries need to better coordinate their economic policies, as officials prepare for a leadership summit.
China and the U.S. should “strengthen macroeconomic policy coordination, and jointly promote world economic recovery and growth,” Wang told Donilon today, according to a statement on the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s website. “Both sides should understand each other’s economic development strategies and policies.”
Wang was one of at least three members of the Communist Party’s Politburo whom Donilon met during his trip, which began May 26 and was meant to prepare for a June 7-8 summit between Presidents Barack Obama and Xi Jinping. The summit is part of efforts to smooth over recent strains in the relationship, including U.S. allegations that China is behind a cyber-espionage campaign against American companies.
Yesterday, Xi told Donilon at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People that the two countries’ relationship is at a “critical juncture to build on successes and open up new dimensions for the future.”
Obama’s meeting with Xi comes after the U.S. president said he is looking to pivot American foreign policy toward Asia after a decade where the focus was on the Middle East following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Chinese state media have said the pivot could embolden U.S. allies such as Japan and the Philippines in territorial disputes with China.
The two sides also disagree over how strongly to respond to North Korea’s nuclear and missile tests, Iran’s weapons program and Syria’s civil war.
Obama “is firmly committed to building a relationship defined by higher levels of practical cooperation and greater levels of trust, while managing whatever differences and disagreements that may arise between us,” Donilon told Xi.
Earlier today, Donilon met with Central Military Commission Vice Chairman Fan Changlong. The two talked about deepening cooperation between the Chinese and U.S. militaries, including in peacekeeping, disaster relief and countering piracy.
Trade and economic issues have dominated past summits between leaders of the two countries. Now, the focus is on cyber security and regional issues, as the U.S. tries to persuade Chinese leaders to restrain North Korea’s nuclear ambitions. The Pentagon this month accused China for the first time of a cyber-espionage campaign, saying the country’s military has targeted U.S. government computers with intrusions that seek sensitive data.
“The high levels of dialogues and interaction we have maintained in U.S.-China relations as well as other channels of communications between senior officials have been essential to effectively advancing our relationship,” Donilon told Xi.
Wang will be one of the two officials leading China’s delegation at this year’s annual U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue this July in the U.S.
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