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Xi urges Washington to boost trust

Updated: 2016-06-07 02:03
By An Baijie in Beijing and Chen Weihua in Washington (China Daily)

Disputes should not be used as an excuse for confrontational attitude, president says

Xi urges Washington to boost trust

President Xi Jinping greets the audience at the opening ceremony of the China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue in Beijing. US Secretary of State John Kerry (right) and US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew attended the meeting. WANG ZHUANGFEI / CHINA DAILY

President Xi Jinping urged China and the United States on Monday to enhance mutual trust and make concerted efforts to manage differences and handle sensitive issues.

He made the remarks when he addressed a key annual Sino-US dialogue in Beijing.

Referring to a series of disputes between the world's top two economies, Xi said: "It's inevitable that the two countries have disagreements. ... Even in a family, there are various kinds of disputes. The key is that we should not use disputes as an excuse for a confrontational attitude."

Xi was speaking at the opening ceremony of the eighth round of the China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse.

More than 400 US delegates, including ministerial-level officials, are attending the two-day dialogue. Launched in 2009, it has become an important communication platform between the two countries.

Xi said Confucius had said more than 2,000 years ago that if a man cannot be trusted what could he do? He added that China and the US should boost mutual trust.

The president called for the two nations to intensify efforts to manage conflict and avoid strategic misjudgment.

"What is most important is that both countries should stick to the principles of ‘no conflicts, no confrontation, mutual respect and cooperation for win-win results'," he said.

Cheng Li, director of the John L. Thornton China Center at the Brookings Institution, told China Daily that the problem for China and the US is not ideology or interests, but possible miscalculation.

"People in both countries should not misinterpret the words of some military officers, retired military officers or interest groups as the views of the two nations' top leaders,'' Cheng said.

"I believe the two top leaders and the vast majority of the two peoples don't want to plunge themselves into a large-scale war because of a few stumbling blocks in the bilateral relations or some complicated historical issues."

State Councilor Yang Jiechi co-chaired the event's strategic discussions on Monday with US Secretary of State John Kerry. Vice-Premier Wang Yang and US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew led the economic talks.

"The S&ED is going to be the best opportunity that we have to discuss our differences," Kerry said in his speech.

Yang called on China and the US to respect each other's core interests and important concerns on key issues, including the South China Sea.

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