Obama and Xi end 'constructive' summit


The two leaders agreed to "co-operate" on North Korea

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US President Barack Obama and Chinese leader Xi Jinping have ended a two-day summit described by a US official as "unique, positive and constructive".

US National Security Advisor Tom Donilon said Mr Obama had warned Mr Xi that cyber-crime could be an "inhibitor" in US-China relations.

He also said that both countries had agreed that North Korea had to denuclearise.

The talks in California also touched on economic and environmental issues.

The two leaders spent nearly six hours together on Friday and another three hours on Saturday morning at the sprawling Sunnylands retreat in California.

Tom Donilon: "If there continues to be this direct theft...it's going to be a difficult problem in the economic relationship"

While briefly appearing for a stroll together on Saturday, Mr Obama described their progress as "terrific".

After the talks concluded, Mr Donilon told a press conference that President Obama had described to Mr Xi the types of problems the US has faced from cyber-intrusion and theft of intellectual property.

He gave no details but said Mr Obama underscored that Washington had no doubt that the intrusions were coming from inside China.

Earlier, Mr Xi's senior foreign policy adviser Yang Jiechi told reporters that China wanted co-operation rather than friction with the US over cyber-security.

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It perhaps sounds overly dramatic to suggest the purpose of the Sunnylands summit was to avoid World War III, but it is certainly aimed at making sure both sides know the flashpoints, and talk about them, long before disagreements degenerate into something worse.”

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"Cyber-security should not become the root cause of mutual suspicion and friction, rather it should be a new bright spot in our co-operation," he said.

On North Korea, Mr Donilon said the two leaders had achieved "quite a bit of alignment".

"They agreed that North Korea has to denuclearise, that neither country will accept North Korea as a nuclear-armed state and that we would work together to deepen co-operation and dialogue to achieve denuclearisation," he said.

Immediately after the summit ended, the White House issued a statement saying the two nations had agreed to work together for the first time to reduce hydrofluorocarbons - a potent greenhouse gas.

The BBC's North America editor Mark Mardell says the White House appears to be delighted by the summit, with Mr Donilon repeatedly calling it "unique".

Chinese and US media reaction

"The summit at the Sunnylands estate was notable for its dress code: No one wore neckties, a testament to the oven-like heat and carefully scripted informality of the presidents' first meeting since Xi assumed office in March... Some China watchers and historians say they were struck by how Xi seemed to move comfortably like a Western leader, not only in loosening his collar but also in how he seemed to stroll at ease with Obama as the two leaders engaged with each other." LA Times

"At the time of their mutual opposition to the Soviet threat, the forces that drove China and the United States closer to each other were passive. Today, as ties between the two countries grow, the impetus behind their rapprochement is an active and sober call from the heart." People's Daily

The summit was the first meeting between the two men since Mr Xi became president in March.

It was billed as a chance for the two to get to know each other.

Speaking after his first session of talks with Mr Xi on Friday, Mr Obama described cyber-security as "uncharted waters".

On Friday, the Guardian newspaper published what it described as a US presidential order to national security and intelligence officials to draw up a list of potential overseas targets for US cyber-attacks.

The White House has not commented on the report.

The US and China are the world's two largest economies. The US runs a huge trade deficit with China, which hit an all-time high of $315bn (£204bn) last year.

Last week, the Chinese firm Shuanghui agreed to buy US pork producer Smithfield for $4.7bn (£3.1bn) - the largest takeover of a US company by a Chinese rival.

The deal highlights the growing power of Chinese firms and their desire to secure global resources.

US producers want China to raise the value of its currency, the renminbi, which would make Chinese goods more expensive for foreign buyers and possibly hold back exports.

Beijing has responded with a gradual easing of restrictions on trading in the renminbi.


  • Built in the 1960s in Rancho Mirage, California, as a home for Walter and Leonore Annenberg
  • 25,000-sq ft house was designed by renowned American architect Quincy Jones
  • 200-acre estate includes 11 lakes, a tennis court, and a nine-hole golf course
  • In 2001, the Annenbergs directed that the estate be available to serve as a sanctuary for high-level national and world leaders seeking privacy and peace for resolving international issues
  • Has hosted seven US presidents, British royalty and other world leaders

Intellectual property is also an area of concern for US firms.

A report last month by the independent Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property put losses to the US from IP theft at as much as $300bn (£192bn) a year. It said 50-80% of the thefts were thought to be by China.

Ahead of the summit, White House officials told reporters hacking would be raised, amid growing concern in the US over alleged intrusions from China in recent months.

Last month the Washington Post, citing a confidential Pentagon report, reported that Chinese hackers had accessed designs for more than two dozen US weapons systems.

The US also directly accused Beijing of targeting US government computers as part of a cyber-espionage campaign in a report in early May.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 48.

    US accuses China of conducting cyber-espionage against it, says many such efforts are overseen from a complex in Shanghai run by special unit of China's military. This seems to be the proverbial pot calling the kettle black.
    US also has asked China to use its influence to alter recent provocative behavior by North Korea. In other words - become as interfering, dominating, & threatening as US?

  • rate this

    Comment number 47.

    All the negative voting down of comments...For what ?
    For goodness sake BBC, just give the Tory/UKIP voters another Ed Balls story to comment on before they give birth to an Alex Jones conspiracy.

  • rate this

    Comment number 46.

    9 Minutes ago
    Of course Obama with all his international business education and experience would be able to offer the Chinese lots of advice!!!


    He flogged "HOPE", "CHANGE" and "FOLLOW THE NORTH STAR" to his fellow Americans. As he always says "God save America".

  • rate this

    Comment number 45.

    35: To chip in again, do you think it's "easy" to be a factory worker? Can you sew a pair of pants? Can you ensemble a tennis shoe together? And doing all these in high speed? Why can't India, Bangladesh or African countries became the "manufacturer of the world"? Also, I really don't agree all Chinese made products are of inferior qualities. Many brand name products are made in China now!

  • rate this

    Comment number 44.

    Moral high ground or Sisyphean hill?

  • rate this

    Comment number 43.

    It's about time that western governments grew a backbone and actually stood up to the Chinese for once. A man in jail simply for asking for democracy, his wife under house arrest simply because he was awarded the nobel prize. Please stop sending our jobs and money to China. Tell the CCP to get their act together, start political reforms, and please kick off the UN security council.

  • rate this

    Comment number 42.

    As these are now the two biggest nations on Earth, if they didn't sort out their problems by talking, we would all be in trouble. Glad they are talking.

  • rate this

    Comment number 41.

    Without foreign technology whether transferred by foreign owned companies to manufacture in China or stolen by Chinese hackers, China is nothing. China has not introduced anything new by itself in the way of technology that contributes to its economy. GDP looks impressive but GNI and GNI per capita are what really matter. In that regard China is small time.GNI per capita is developing world, poor.

  • rate this

    Comment number 40.

    Lived in China for years and followed all the ins and outs, also in the Chinese media as far as possible. Now I'm too tired to write in details after standing crushed like a sandwich for an hour in the Beijing subway, but what is clear is that tough times are coming to China, I'm afraid. Their demographics are against them and so is their lack of development across all aspects of society. Fragile.

  • rate this

    Comment number 39.

    I have to wonder what really got said at this summit what with China's main concern being the bull's eye painted on its back by US foreign policy in Asia-Pacific region, aimed straight at containing China's rise.
    US has tried to reassure Chinese that bull's eye is is not aimed at encircling China.
    Chinese must be thinking: "How stupid do you think we are?"

  • rate this

    Comment number 38.

    1. In a bid to take a "glass half full approach", there is some
    hope for the world - at least they are talking.

    2. Also, at last, a "Your Comments" topic which isn't closed to comment. I often get back from work in the evening to find just about everything closed down - some with 200 comments, and some at 2000+, within a day. I am not clear why the threshold is not the same for all topics?

  • rate this

    Comment number 37.

    Of course Obama with all his international business education and experience would be able to offer the Chinese lots of advice!!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 36.

    Nine hours to fix the worlds problems? A bit of PR etc and nothing will change.

  • rate this

    Comment number 35.

    Projections recent impressive Chinese economic growth will continue is absurd.The low hanging fruit has been picked.China's main product, limitless expendable unskilled manufacturing labor.It's downfall, collapse of its export market in Europe, cheaper competition from Vietnam, Bangladesh, US robotic plants, and unwillingness to accept inferior quality from China.China will become more desperate

  • rate this

    Comment number 34.

    What are you up to on this article BBC, why are all the comments being rated down? The top comment is +1!

  • rate this

    Comment number 33.

    7. Big John the Red
    3) Copyright has no meaning!
    Non-Chinese people have been telling you something similar for decades but you choose not to listen to them. A legal mechanism for turning intellectual effort into commodity guarantees one thing only: cartels of idiot rent-seekers will end up owning the ideas they lack the capacity to produce themselves.

  • rate this

    Comment number 32.

    1 Minute ago
    The Chinese gov't is waging a cyber war against the US .... Does the US have one? Will it use it? Can it defend itself and its people if it doesn't? Personally, I say, BOMBS AWAY! Take China off line.


    Obama needs to subcontract the job to Gary McKinnon, given the way that he punched holes in USA's so-called "cyber-security" by working alone in his bedroom.

  • rate this

    Comment number 31.

    Exactly the same time as Bilderberg so the world focus was not on the secret conference. Well done

  • rate this

    Comment number 30.

    Sino-US relations have been steadily improving since 9/11. Current issues raised include North Korea, Taiwan & the Global Economic Forum, Kyoto Protocol issues have also been discussed. Currently Xi & his administration increased economic relations with the USA which has been linked to the IT & Automobile industry. Recent diplomatic exchanges have focused on international cyber infringements.

  • rate this

    Comment number 29.

    @26 Nanda

    That was my point. The US has a horrible track record on human rights (including supporting terrorists, aiding rogue nations like Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, 'rendition', Guantanimo Bay, capital punishment, medical experiments on its citizens, mass-spying on citizens, lying about WMD in Iraq to go to ware, etc.). They are in no position to lecture the Chinese.


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