The Heat: China-US relations amidst President Xi’s US visit

“I conveyed to President Xi our significant concerns over land reclamation, construction and the militarization of disputed areas, which makes it harder for countries in the region to resolve disagreements peacefully”, Obama said.


While both leaders congratulated each other on the constructive co-operation they had reached on climate change, growing investment and economic ties, tackling instability on the Korean peninsula and the nuclear accord with Iran, it was evident that China’s program of island-building in the South China Sea remained a contentious issue where little progress had been made.

Concluding, it said that the joint China-US announcement provides strong leadership and momentum for a comprehensive global climate agreement in Paris that can put the world on a safer, more sustainable pathway. Chinas pledge to help crack down on hackers who steal commercial secrets from the United States, even coming as it did amid a bit of arm-twisting by Obama, is a big breakthrough that could reduce US-China tensions and end huge losses for American companies.

Agree to stop theft of “intellectual property”.

The president called for cooperation between the two countries, which, he said “can happen as long as we continue to recognize that there’s a difference between friendly competition…and competition that tilts the playing field unfairly in one direction or another”.

Though welcoming a pledge by the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, to avoid “knowingly” spying on USA companies, Barack Obama revealed he had threatened to pursue sanctions against Chinese entities the U.S. suspects of carrying out a series of attacks that have enraged American politicians and businesses.

President Obama spent the lion’s share of his joint press conference with President Xi announcing China’s commitment to cap-and-trade, hailing it as some kind of breakthrough.

After a tense day of meetings, a powerhouse lineup mixing Hollywood, diplomacy and corporate America streamed into the White House for a lavish state dinner.

“It has to stop”, Obama said at the news conference, leveling only an indirect charge of wrongdoing against the Chinese.

On human rights, another sore spot between the nations, Obama said the two had a “frank discussion”.

Obama and Xi did herald progress on climate change, one of the few areas of bilateral cooperation that has proceeded smoothly in recent months, largely because Beijing has struggled to contain heavy air, water and soil pollution that has destroyed farmland, sent cancer rates soaring and left its cities cloaked in dense smog.

Washington, for its part, has said that it does not conduct cybertheft for the benefit of USA companies.

“Islands in the South China Sea, since ancient times, are China’s territory”.

Xi responded to Obama’s human rights remarks saying, “We must recognise that countries have different historical processes and realities, and we need to respect people of all countries in the right to choose their own development path independently”.


Obama said “Our two great nations-if we work together-have an unmatched ability to shape the course of the century ahead”. He said the wording also buys into a Chinese “narrative” by implying that the just as guilty of economic hacking as the Chinese.

Dazzling First Lady Michelle Obama- who wore a $2,300 dress to meet the Pope this week- diplomatically opted for a black off-the-shoulder mermaid gown created by Chinese American designer Vera Wang