President Barack Obama will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping for the first time on June 7-8 in California, the White House announced on Monday. The talks come amid rising U.S. anger at alleged cyberattacks originating in China and concerns about Beijing’s expanding global influence.
“The two leaders will review progress & challenges in U.S.-China relations & discuss ways to enhance cooperation in the years ahead,” Obama’s National Security Council press staff said on Twitter.
U.S. national security adviser Tom Donilon will travel to Beijing on May 26-28 in advance of the meeting.
Despite tensions over alleged hacking and China's sometimes tense relations with U.S. allies like Japan and South Korea, U.S. officials have praised Beijing's help in the latest confrontation with North Korea. And Obama aides take a largely positive view of China's role in the international effort to get Iran to freeze its suspect nuclear program.
"The United States wants a strong, normal, but special relationship with China, and that’s a special—because China is a great power with a great ability to affect events in the world. And we need to work together," Secretary of State John Kerry said during a mid-April trip to Beijing. Kerry's comments raised some eyebrows, because the term "special relationship" is typically reserved for America's ties to Britain.
The leaders will meet at Sunnylands, the Walter and Leonore Annenberg estate. On its website, it bills itself as "a West Coast 'Camp David,' where global leaders seek to advance international agreement.”