Ambassador says president's visit will produce fruitful results
President Xi Jinping's state visit to the U.S. later this month will produce fruitful results, according to China's Ambassador to the United States Cui Tiankai.
Cui told reporters that preparations for the visit are moving ahead quickly.
He was speaking after a concert in Maryland on Saturday to mark the 70th anniversary of victory in the Chinese People's War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression (1937-45).
He did not reveal what the fruitful outcomes of Xi's visit would be, but said they would be "a pleasant surprise when made public".
U.S. National Security Adviser Susan Rice visited China a week ago to prepare for the visit, and U.S. Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Russel is visiting Beijing from Sunday to Tuesday to discuss a host of issues relating to the president's trip.
Asked if there would be a change in the timetable for Xi's visit if Washington in coming weeks announces economic sanctions against Chinese companies and individuals allegedly involved in cyberthefts, as reported by The Washington Post, Cui said he hoped nobody would "do anything so non-constructive".
The ambassador said he believed that the vast common interests between the two countries mean that both need to make Xi's visit a success.
He said both nations are facing the challenge of cyberattacks, and China, as a developing country, is "much more a victim" of such attacks.
"This means that China and the U.S. have every reason to conduct more communications and cooperation in this regard, instead of moving toward conflict and confrontation," he said. "I hope the U.S. will make a smart choice."
He said the two countries have been communicating on various bilateral, regional and global issues, but different national conditions mean there will be differences and disagreements.
He described this as normal for both nations, but said it also means that when old problems are solved, new ones might emerge.
Cui, who was a vice-foreign minister before taking up his current post in April 2013, said China and the U.S. also have expanding common needs and interests, adding, "Our common interests clearly outweigh our differences."
The career diplomat said the key is for both countries to better explore their common needs and interests and to expand cooperation, while constructively managing and controlling their differences.
"Only by doing this can China-U.S. relations be kept on a healthy, stable and sustainable path," he said.
While U.S. news headlines often suggest otherwise, Cui reminded people of the two nations' vast common interests.
These include two-way trade totaling $550 billion, increased two-way investment and people-to-people exchanges highlighted by the large number of Chinese students studying in the U.S. and the growing number of U.S. students in China.
"I believe the two countries' common interests have increased on global and regional issues, in particular bilateral issues, and our common interests far exceed our differences," he said.
Dismissing the notion that China was flexing its muscles by staging last Thursday's military parade in Beijing, Cui said the nation has been a staunch force in ensuring world peace.
"So, the more powerful China is, the greater its contribution to world peace," he said.
He said this was the message from the parade, adding, "It was not to show muscle or intimidate anyone."
However, the U.S. does not need to demonstrate with a military parade - it has been using its weapons every day, according to the ambassador.
China has not been involved in a war with another country for the past four decades, apart from a brief border conflict with Vietnam in 1979.