President Xi Jinping urged China and the US on Monday to “have a correct understanding of each other’s strategic intentions”.
He also called for them to “handle disputes properly” amid tensions triggered aftera US Navy ship illegally entered waters near Chinese islands in the South China Sea.
“We have new opportunities to develop the Sino-US relationship, but we also face challenges,” Xi said.
“The two countries should have a correct understanding of each other’s strategic intentions and strengthen pragmatic cooperation at all levels to expand common interests by thinking in an innovative way.”
The president made the comments when he met with former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger in Beijing.
On Oct 27, a US destroyer passed within 22.2 kilometers of Chinese man-made islands in the South China Sea. Beijing condemned the US action as “a serious military and political provocation against China”.
Briefing Kissinger on the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20), Xi said China will adopt innovation, coordination, green policies and an open and sharing approach to the plan, which will provide more opportunities for Sino-US cooperation.
The plan is the central government’s blueprint for China’s long-term social and economic policies.
Visit ‘a great success’
Kissinger said Xi’s state visit to the United States in September had been a great success and had resulted in positive responses. The US and China should strengthen strategic dialogue, enhance mutual understanding and be inspired by the spirit of cooperation, he said.
Kissinger launched the Chinese version of his latest book, World Order, in Beijing on Saturday.
At the launch he highlighted the need to establish an international order that reflects today’s reality.
The minimum condition for this would be that no country taking part in the new order becomes so dissatisfied that it opts to use force rather than peaceful settlement, Kissinger said.
He added that China will naturally defend its own interests and every country will attempt to do likewise.
But in the process, all countries have to try to understand the interests of others, and “it is possible for us to disagree on specific interests and we have to find a way to settle them without force or the threat of force”, Kissinger said.
Zha Xiaogang, a leading researcher at the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies, said Kissinger has a unique insight into world affairs and can provide an informative analysis of the current international situation.
“I think he may bring some ideas and advice regarding issues in the South China Sea from the White House to President Xi, and Xi may also convey our attitudes and intentions to the US through him,” Zha said.
Meanwhile, US Pacific Command commander Admiral Harry Harris arrived in Beijing on Monday and will meet with senior PLA military leaders on Tuesday.