02/14/2012, 00.00
CHINA – UNITED STATES

Xi Jinping in the United States, stability above all

Citing his predecessors, China’s vice president calls on Washington to “properly and discreetly handle the issues concerning the core interests of China”, i.e. human rights and religious freedom. He goes on to criticises US naval exercises in the Pacific, saying it is not what countries in the region want to see. Meanwhile, European leaders are in Beijing to ask for economic help.
Washington (AsiaNews) – Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping began his US visit today. Widely expected to become China's next leader, he called on Washington to adopt "concrete measures to promote mutual trust". Meanwhile, European Union leaders began their visit to Beijing to ask for China’s help.

The long anticipated US visit is a response to a weeklong visit by US Vice President Joe Biden to China.

After landing, Xi spoke at a meeting here with several former top US officials, including former secretaries of state Henry Kissinger and Madeleine Albright.

Citing Chinese President Hu Jintao, he urged Washington to "adopt concrete measures to promote mutual trust, especially to properly and discreetly handle the issues concerning the core interests of China."

“We should deal with friction and differences in bilateral economic and trade co-operation in the spirit of seeking mutual benefits and win-win results through a positive and constructive way,” he added. China’s core interests are human rights, religious freedom, Tibet and Taiwan.

However, in comments to a US newspaper ahead of his trip, Mr Xi sounded a note of warning to the US over its military stance in the Pacific. He said scaling up military activity was not what countries in the region wanted to see.

On Wednesday, he will be in Iowa to meet his hosts from his first visit to the US in 1985 when he was a county official. On Thursday, he will hold talks with US President Barack Obama at White House. Later that day, he is scheduled to visit a farm in Iowa before flying to Los Angeles, California, to meet business leaders and Chinese immigrants.

Meanwhile in Beijing, Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao is set to meet EU President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso to discuss Europe’s financial crisis, Syria and Iran. Van Rompuy and Barroso are also expected to meet Chinese President Hu Jintao tomorrow. In their talks with their Chinese hosts, they hope to convince Beijing to buy more European debt.

"The debt issue is at a critical juncture," Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said on Monday. “We believe that as China's largest trading partner and the largest economy in the world (collectively), it is important for the European Union to resolve this issue."
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