Obama, Xi discuss U.S.-China relations

March 14, 2013 at 3:02 PM
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WASHINGTON, March 14 (UPI) -- President Obama reiterated his commitment to cooperation in addressing global economic issues in a call to Chinese President Xi Jinping, the White House said.

Obama called Xi Thursday to congratulate him on his new position and discuss the future of the U.S.-China relationship, the White House said in a release.

"The president underscored his firm commitment to increasing practical cooperation to address Asia's and the world's most pressing economic and security challenges," the readout said. "Both leaders agreed on the value of regular high-level engagement to expand cooperation and coordination."

Obama also discussed the threat from North Korea's nuclear and missile programs, stressing the need for coordination with China to ensure North Korea meets its denuclearization obligations, the readout said.

China, North Korea's largest remaining ally, condemned Pyongyang for its recent actions, including threats of pre-emptive nuclear strikes against the United States and South Korea, announcing it nullified the Korean conflict cease-fire and its third underground nuclear test. China supported imposition of more sanctions against North Korea approved by the U.N. Security Council.

Obama also welcomed China's Group of 20 commitment to move toward a more flexible exchange rate, underscoring "the importance of working together to expand trade and investment opportunities and to address issues such as the protection of intellectual property rights," the readout said.

"In this context, the president highlighted the importance of addressing cybersecurity threats, which represent a shared challenge," the readout said. "The two leaders agreed to maintain frequent and direct communication."

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