Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Obama Raises Tough Issues with China's New Leader President Focuses on Cybersecurity, Economy as Talks with XI Begin

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Obama Raises Tough Issues with China's New Leader President Focuses on Cybersecurity, Economy as Talks with XI Begin

Article excerpt

RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. -- Opening a two-day summit, President Barack Obama drew attention to contentious economic and cybersecurity issues Friday night as he warmly received Chinese President Xi Jinping to a California desert estate for high-stakes talks.

Under a shaded walkway as temperatures surged above 100 degrees, the two leaders -- in white shirts and suit coats but no ties -- greeted each other and walked side by side to start their first in- person meetings since Mr. Xi took office in March.

"Our decision to meet so early [in Mr. Xi's term] signifies the importance of the U.S.-China relationship," Mr. Obama said. He noted the unusual setting and said he hoped for "more extended" and informal talks that will lead to a "new model of cooperation" between countries.

Previewing their talks, Mr. Obama said he would also stress the importance of human rights, another sensitive issue with the Chinese. For his part, Mr. Xi did not mention cybersecurity, human rights or North Korea, another area of potential tensions between the two powers.

Speaking through a translator, Mr. Xi said both leaders were "meeting today to chart the future of U.S.-China relations." He said the world has "reaped huge benefits" from the relationship between the two nations.

The leaders were meeting at the 200-acre Sunnylands estate, just outside Palm Springs, Calif. They were to take reporters' questions later Friday evening after a bilateral meeting, then hold a working dinner Friday night and additional talks this morning.

Mr. Obama, seated next to Secretary of State John Kerry, said the United States welcomes the rise of a peaceful China and seeks "economic order where nations are playing by the same rules." He called for the United States and China to work together to address cybersecurity. "Inevitably, there are areas of tension between our countries," Mr. Obama said, adding that it's in the interest of both countries to work together.

But Mr. Obama's urging of Mr. …

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