U.S.-China Talks Focus on Climate Change, Economic Cooperation

U.S.-Chinese collaboration on climate and trade took center stage in Washington.
U.S.-Chinese collaboration on climate and trade took center stage in Washington.

President Obama hosted Chinese President Xi Jinping during his visit to Washington September 24–25, during which the leaders discussed strengthening bilateral cooperation between the two countries.

“Our work together — to increase our trade, boost the global economy, fight climate change and prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon — shows that when the United States and China work together, it makes our nations and the world more prosperous and more secure,” Obama said at the White House.

Obama and Xi issued a Joint Presidential Statement on Climate Change, outlining further steps the countries will take to address climate change after their historic announcement in China last November. U.S. and Chinese officials have engaged in extensive dialogue in advance of the U.N. Conference on Climate Change in Paris in December.

“When the world’s two largest economies, energy consumers and carbon emitters come together like this, then there’s no reason for other countries — whether developed or developing — to not do so as well,” Obama said.

The leaders recognized their shared interest in promoting a strong and open global economy, sustainable development and a stable international financial system. China and the U.S. have a long history of economic relations, and China is one of America’s largest trading partners.

“First, with respect to our economic relationship, we agreed to step up our work toward a high-standard bilateral investment treaty that would help level the playing field for American companies,” Obama said.
The United States and China signed a memorandum of understanding that establishes a framework for development cooperation to guide future collaborative efforts. The two countries also discussed coordination on security matters that include Afghanistan and nuclear security.

Xi’s week long visit to the United States began in Washington state, where he toured Microsoft and Boeing facilities. The Chinese president met senior American and Chinese business leaders in Seattle, where he stressed the importance of trade relations between the nations.

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