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No fast results expected from Xi-Obama summit

2013-05-24 09:15 China Daily     Web Editor: Mo Hong'e comment

Xi's meeting with Obamais a move toward better, stronger cooperation

With anticipation running high for the recently announced meeting between President Xi Jinpingand his US counterpart Barack Obama in California next month, China's ambassador to the US said people shouldn't expect immediate, concrete results from the informal summit.

China's Foreign Ministry announced on Tuesday that Xi will meet Obama on June 7 and 8 at Sunnylands, the former estate of the late publisher Walter Annenberg and his late wife, Leonore. Xi will stop at the Rancho Mirage compound after state visits to Trinidad and Tobago, Costa Rica and Mexico.

On Wednesday, Ambassador Cui Tiankai said the first face-to-face meeting between the leaders since Xi became China's president in March would have "special significance".

"It may not have a long list of what we call 'deliverables', but it will ... enable our cooperation to deliver more in the future," Cui said in a speech at a seminar in Washington on the future of China-US economic relations.

He said the two presidents will have a substantive exchange of views on the strategic aspects of their countries' relationship.

"This is certainly different from a normal state visit, because for a state visit, we have to spend so much time and energy on formalities and protocol. But that's not the case for this meeting," said Cui, who had just returned early on Wednesday from a preparatory visit to Sunnylands.

"It's a beautiful place," he said.

Orville Schell, director of the Asia Society's Center on US-China Relations, described the site — sometimes called the "West Coast Camp David" for playing host to past retreats of US and world leaders — as "the perfect place for informal and personal discussions". He said it provides "the best of all possible environments for two leaders to get to know each other without undue formalities".

The no-neckties setting is "unprecedented" for a meeting between US and Chinese leaders, Cui said.

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