After Modi-Obama bromance, Xi Jinping plans to make first official visit to US

From K J M Varma Beijing, Feb 9: Chinese President Xi Jinping plans to make his first official visit to the US later this year to push for "new model" of major-country relations, amid strong American Asia-Pacific military push, which officials here say is aimed at containing the communist country.

Arrangements are being made for Xi to pay his first state visit later this year to the United States, China's ambassador to the US Cui Tiankai told state-run China Daily.

Xi plans to make first visit to US

While the date has yet to be released, discussion is ongoing between Beijing and Washington for Xi's expected trip, Cui said, noting that the two countries have carried out successful high-level interactions in recent years despite differences. "We are also very willing to see such interactions continuing this year, and we may even have a greater success," Cui said.

61-year-old Xi's expected visit would be his first to the White House since taking office in March 2013. It would also be the latest summit between him and Obama, following the informal summit in California in June 2013, and their meeting on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meetings in Beijing last November. US National Security Adviser Susan Rice said on Friday US has invited Xi for a state visit to the country this year.

Commenting on Xi's visit, Chinese analysts said China will continue to push for a "new model of major-country relations," despite the US intention to further promote its "rebalancing" Asian strategy.

Chinese official media came out with scathing commentaries of China containment, when Obama made unprecedented second visit to India last month. Zhou Wenzhong, former ambassador of China to the US, said that as international society is faced with an increasingly complicated situation, a healthy Sino-US relationship is key to ensure stability of the world order.

During Xi's trip, discussions will touch upon highly sensitive interactions, but neither of the world's largest economies will risk ties by seeking major confrontation, Chinese strategic analysts said. The "new model of major-country relations" was a concept proposed by Xi during his visit to Washington in 2012.

Xi had said such a relationship would be characterised by mutual understanding and strategic trust, respecting each other's core interests, mutually beneficial cooperation, and enhancing cooperation and coordination in international affairs and on global issues.


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