US Obama to Host Chinese Xi for September 25 State Visit

US Obama to Host Chinese Xi for September 25 State Visit
Wed Sep 16, 2015 12:37:24

US President Barack Obama will offer his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping a full state welcome at the White House on September 25, a US spokesman announced Tuesday.

The prestigious welcome comes after Obama made a similar trip to China in November 2014. But it belies deep and growing tensions between the world’s two pre-eminent economic and political powers.

The visit will be an opportunity to “expand US-China cooperation” and “address areas of disagreement constructively,” said Earnest, in a nod to problems ranging from cyber-attacks to Beijing’s controversial maritime claims.

In advance of the visit, Obama has warned that the scale of cyber-attacks from China was “not acceptable,” and officials have floated the idea of sanctions.

China could “choose to make this an area of competition,” Obama said, but he issued a stern warning – “I guarantee you, we will win if we have to.”

Both the United States and China have developed vast cyber security and intelligence gathering capabilities.

Beijing has been blamed for a recent breach of US federal government personnel files that left millions of officials – including some at the very top levels – exposed.

We have been quite clear that the United States does not engage in the kind of cyber activity that yields a significant financial benefit for American companies, and that’s precisely the kind of behavior and activity that we’ve raised concerns about with regard to China,” said Earnest.

The White House is also deeply concerned by a series of Chinese claims to disputed territories in the South and East China Sea.

China has long claimed it owns around 90 percent of the South China Sea, but has in the last decade moved to realize that claim.

In the last few years, Beijing has intensified its building on disputed atolls, and deployed fishing vessels and military equipment to disputed zones.

On Tuesday, executives from America’s largest companies called on Obama and Xi to focus on progress in securing a bilateral investment treaty when they meet next week – a subject on which they might be able to show cooperation.

A group of 94 CEOs have written to the two presidents to say a “high-quality” agreement would have an “immediate and tangible impact for both of our economies.”

Among the signatories are Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffett, Apple’s Tim Cook, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs.

The investment treaty may provide better reciprocated market access for US and Chinese firms.

But negotiations so far have seen repeated efforts to carve out exceptions in sectors ranging from banking to aerospace, making the agreement patchy.

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