Barack Obama photo

Remarks Prior to a Meeting With President Xi Jinping of China in Le Bourget, France

November 30, 2015

President Xi. President Obama, it's my great pleasure to see you again. Recently, we met with each other frequently. Here, I want to mention, in particular, the successful state visit that I made to the United States in September this year, and I recall in particular, at the White House, you and your wife, Michelle Obama, extended hospitality to me and my wife. Here, on behalf of my wife, I want to thank you and your wife and the U.S. Government for that.

After my visit, our two teams have been working very hard to make new progress in China-U.S. relations. At the G-20 summit and the APEC meeting, the two sides had good communication and coordination. The 26th meeting of the JCCT was recently successfully held in Guangzhou, and the first China-U.S. high-level joint dialogue on fighting cybercrime and related issues will soon take place in Washington. In the meantime, the two sides have enjoyed effective coordination and cooperation on economy and trade, mil-to-mil relations, people-to-people ties, as well as important issues such as the Iranian nuclear issue and Syria.

At the present, the world economy is recovering slowly. Terrorism is on the rise, and climate change is an acute challenge. There is more instability and uncertainty in the international situation. Against this backdrop, it's very important for China and the United States to be firmly committed to the right direction of building a new model of major country relations: follow the principle of nonconfrontation and nonconflict; mutual respect; and win-win cooperation; and carry forward our practical exchanges and cooperation at the bilateral, regional, and global levels, which will include enhancing macroeconomic policy coordination, working together to combat all forms of terrorism, and partnering with each other to help the climate conference deliver its expected targets.

In the meantime, it's important that we manage our differences and the sensitive issues in a constructive way. All in all, we need to work together to ensure the sustained, healthy, and a steady growth of our bilateral relations and maintain and promote peace, stability, and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region and the world at large.

President Obama. Well, thank you, Mr. President. I appreciate very much the opportunity to meet once again with President Xi. As he mentioned, we had a very successful state visit this past year, and we have been able to coordinate our activities during the course of the G-20 and APEC meeting. And nowhere has our coordination been more necessary or more fruitful than the topic that we're here to discuss during the Paris conference, and that is how the world can come together to arrest the pace of climate change.

As the two largest economies in the world and the two largest carbon emitters, we have both determined that it is our responsibility to take action. And since our historic joint announcement of our post-2020 climate targets in Beijing last year, more than 180 countries have followed in announcing their own targets. And so our leadership on this issue has been absolutely vital, and I appreciate President Xi's consistent cooperation on this issue.

The United States and China also come here with a common vision for what's needed in a Paris agreement, including moving toward a low-carbon global economy this century, enhancing transparency to build trust, and robust financial support to help developing countries adapt. And here in Paris, we will be working together to try to deliver on that vision.

We've also been able to set up a number of key forums for us to find additional areas of cooperation through our Strategic and Economic Dialogues and our military-to-military exchanges. We've been able to enhance security, help to strengthen the global economy, and manage conflicts in various hotspots around the world. And I want to particularly express our condolences over the killing of a recent Chinese hostage by ISIL. I think it indicates the degree that this is a threat to all of our nations. And I look forward to discussing how China can play a greater role in addressing this crisis, especially supporting a political transition in Syria and assisting on humanitarian needs, because what's clear is, is that when China is invested in helping to resolve global problems, all of us, including the United States, benefits.

Of course, as President Xi indicated, there are differences between our countries. That's natural. But on issues like cybersecurity and maritime issues, President Xi and I have developed a candid way of discussing these issues, and our teams have found ways to work through these tensions in a constructive fashion. And we hope to build on that today. And I'm also looking forward to President Xi's hosting of the next G-20 meeting in Hangzhou. And that will give us an additional opportunity to work to strengthen the global economy and to deal with issues like sustainable development and, I think, once again show the world that there's far more that the United States and China have in common than separates us and that when we work together, good things happen.

Xiè xiè.

NOTE: The President spoke at approximately 9:55 a.m. in the bilateral meeting room of the White House delegation space at the Parc des Expositions. In his remarks, he referred to Fan Jinghui, a freelance advertising consultant who was kidnapped and allegedly killed by members of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terrorist organization on November 18. President Xi referred to the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT). President Xi spoke in Chinese, and his remarks were translated by an interpreter.

Barack Obama, Remarks Prior to a Meeting With President Xi Jinping of China in Le Bourget, France Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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