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 188.

    You have to question how american administrations can be so amicable to China still a communist run regime while at the same time the US can maintain an absurdly long and now totally stupid embargo against Cuba. The issue is no longer the regime in Cuba it's the power hungry Republican fascists who want the Cuban community's anti-Castro vote in Florida. How else can Jebb Bush run for president?

  • rate this

    Comment number 187.

    At comment...175.andyg

    And he escaped to China for freedom and protection, what a change.

    Not all westerners live on feel good news only in the west all the time.

  • rate this

    Comment number 186.

    @ 185.An Over Populated Planet,
    More indirectly, as cheap energy would make it economically viable to power indoor farms, seawater desalination and synthesis of cheap clean fuels for vehicles. This would allow for almost unlimited food, water and transport. Hundreds of billions was an upper figure though it's likely the population would plateau long before that due to increased prosperity.

  • rate this

    Comment number 185.

    @ 182. andyg

    You need more than energy.

    100's of billions eh!

    Count me out, thank you.

  • rate this

    Comment number 184.

    We will not be given the slightest bit of information about what was said or agreed at this meeting, so it is pointless running a Have Your Say on the subject.

  • rate this

    Comment number 183.

    The United States are bound by treaty to intervene to protect many of China's neighbours in the event of war with China. These include Taiwan, South Korea and Japan. All three are currently involved in territorial disputes with China in the South China Sea.
    What is Obama's optimum strategy?
    Perhaps like Roosevelt; speak softly and carry a big stick.

  • rate this

    Comment number 182.

    @176.An Over Populated Planet ,
    The fact is, a source of energy which we already know how to make, Thorium(LFTR) could support hundreds of billions of people at first world levels by producing abundant energy cheap enough to be used in vertical farms, e.t.c . An educated first world China and India would contribute greatly to the intellectual pool of the world accelerating the rate of advancement.

  • rate this

    Comment number 181.

    There's a lot citizens of both the US and China deserve of their government but its worth saying today that they have leaders who are talking. Cameron wasn't around that table. Not invited. Worrying for our future we are so marginalised but so quick to join the US in support of its 'interventions' off shore.

  • rate this

    Comment number 180.

    Obama to Xi, give us Africa.

    Xi to Obama, give us Oz.

    Both says, hot looking wife and business as usual no change.

  • rate this

    Comment number 179.

    No doubt BHO will be interested in Chinese technology - such as how to snoop on your people.

  • rate this

    Comment number 178.


    Sorry. I've a weakness for bad puns, comic typos etc., that's all. Nothing more, friend.

  • rate this

    Comment number 177.

    Xi Jinping has come to see if he can get in on the PRISM deal like GCHQ has. Or maybe Obama wants to rent out some of the brand new mainframe rackspace in the secret Utah facility so China can start adding their own citizens to it? Rumor has it the new facility has the capability to store the data of more than 4 x the population of the planet. I wonder how many Stasi filing cabinets that would be?

  • rate this

    Comment number 176.

    You would have thought world population numbers would have been at the top of the agenda.
    With numbers currently twice what the planet can sustain & climate variations tapping at everyone's door, it makes me wonder which planet their advisors live on.

    With fixed planet size, finite resources you would have thought. Denial is a tragic state.

    More mass suffering !

    More suffering ....... !!!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 175.

    In other news, hero Edward Snowden gives the US government parasites a lesson in patriotism by blowing the whistle on their campaign of snooping.

  • rate this

    Comment number 174.

    Positive - constructive - the usual meaningless words. If that's the best they can report, we must conclude that it was all a jolly enjoyable waste of time. Or maybe there was some secret deal which will emerge eventually ...hmmm. Either way it hardly qualifies as important news right now.

  • rate this

    Comment number 173.

    germany was beaten by russia, spain barely tried to fight back, britain was beaten by the french, the USSR was never beaten by america, neither was the EU. america is now up against an opponent which has nuclear weapons, meaning that the only way to win is economically. can they do that?probably not unless they get a move on.

  • rate this

    Comment number 172.

    Xi should push Obama to gives Chinese expats in North America equal rights to high paying white man jobs, like the one he has.

    And stop paying that welfare case dolly lama with China loans.

  • rate this

    Comment number 171.

    sieuarlu @158
    If we take it that by now ALL must be absolutely certain, that 'we' are too strong / arrogant / stupid /courageous / everything, ever to be a push-over, that to push will only be to make matters worse for whoever tries (even if that means pulling down the pillars of the temple), MIGHT we divert ourselves in the indulgence of some just possibly more constructive thought experiments?

  • rate this

    Comment number 170.

    Lucas@1901,..good for you mate.

  • rate this

    Comment number 169.

    America can't preach about human rights and should stop bullying China, its not long until America will be no.2. Hope they give Edward Snowden a fair and `democratic` trial, but I very much doubt they will. Hope China will put pressure on America to close Guantanamo.


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