Chinese President Xi Jinping has said if the US and China were to “enter into conflict or confrontation, it would lead to disaster for both countries and the world at large.”
In a keynote address to a business gathering in Seattle on Tuesday, Xi attempted to reassure investors and global businesses of China’s commitment to continuing economic reforms.
Earlier in a written interview to Wall Street Journal, Xi said it is natural for China and the US to have some differences, even family members don’t always see eye to eye with each other.
“Our two countries should understand and respect each other, expand common ground and properly handle differences, and respect and accommodate each other’s core interests and major concerns,” Xi said.
China and the United States account for one third of the world economy, one fourth of the global population, and one fifth of global trade.
“If two big countries like ours do not cooperate with each other, just imagine what will happen to the world,” Xi said, adding that both history and reality show that China and the United States stand to gain from cooperation and lose from confrontation.
Some 650 business executives and US and Chinese officials attended the high-powered business meet in Seattle.
CEOs of Apple, Microsoft, IBM, Boeing, Amazon and Chinese firms Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu were present at the event.
Chinese firms have raised concerns about gaining greater access to US markets, something that Xi is expected to point out during talks with his US counterpart.
US President Barack Obama will host Xi for a state visit on September 25 when the two leaders will aim to decrease differences between the two biggest economies of the world.
China became the world’s largest trading nation in 2013, overtaking the US in what Beijing described as “a landmark milestone” for the country.
China and the US are locked in competition over trade and over military and diplomatic influence in the region.
Washington and Beijing are hoping to announce some progress towards a US-China investment treaty during Xi’s trip.
The two countries are also expected to discuss climate change commitments ahead of the climate talks starting in Paris on November 30.
Chinese President Xi Jinping’s US trip ends with a speech at the United Nations General Assembly in New York on September 28.
TBP and Agencies