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Remarks Prior to a Meeting With President Xi Jinping of China in Lima, Peru

November 19, 2016

President Obama. I am looking forward to the opportunity to once again meet with President Xi. Over the past 3½ years, we have met 9 times. And the frequency of our engagement has enabled us to advance cooperation on shared challenges and manage differences between our countries effectively.

We've collaborated on key global challenges. From supporting global growth to preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, to ending the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, we've demonstrated what's possible when our two countries work together.

In particular, the United States and China have played a pivotal role in pressing the world to act on climate change. When I was in Hangzhou, our nations formally joined the Paris Agreement. Now we face the work of making sure our economies transition to become more sustainable.

In terms of regional security, President Xi and I are united on our strong opposition to North Korea's provocations, and we will intensify our efforts to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula. In the South China Sea, the United States continues to urge all claimants to lower tensions and peacefully resolve disputes.

I expect we'll also have a candid conversation on areas where we continue to differ, including the creation of a more level playing field for our businesses to compete, innovation policies, excess capacity, and human rights.

This will be my last meeting as President with President Xi, so I want to take this opportunity to note our work together to build a more durable and productive set of bilateral ties. I view the relationship between our two countries as the most consequential in the world. I continue to believe that a constructive U.S.-China relationship benefits our two peoples and benefits the entire globe. And the structure and framework of cooperation, the frequent meetings and consultations that we've established, I think, has been extremely productive.

So I want to thank President Xi and his delegation for their efforts in this regard.

President Xi. Well, it's my great pleasure to meet you, Mr. President, in Lima. This is our third meeting in 2016 and our ninth meeting over the past 3 years and more. This really shows the two sides' shared commitment to the China-U.S. relationship. And, Mr. President, I would like to commend you for the active efforts you've made to grow this relationship.

Since we met in Hangzhou in early September, the China-U.S. relationship has, generally speaking, continued to grow in a stable manner. There have been frequent exchanges at the top and other levels. We've made new progress in cooperation on the economy, mil-to-mil, law enforcement, judiciary, subnational exchanges, people-to-people contacts and so on. And the two sides have kept up close communication and coordination on climate change, the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, and other important international, regional, and global issues.

We meet at a hinge moment in the China-U.S. relationship. I hope the two sides will work together to focus on cooperation, manage our differences and make sure there is a smooth transition in the relationship and that it will continue to grow going forward. Both China and the United States are important member economies in APEC. China stands ready to have more coordination with the U.S. and to work alongside others to make sure the meeting in Peru is a success and to inject new momentum into regional economic cooperation and the growth of the Asia-Pacific economy.

Thank you.

NOTE: The President spoke at 5:16 p.m. at the JW Marriott Hotel Lima. 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 Lima, Peru Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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