John Kerry and Xi Jinping shake hands in Beijing, Feb. 14. (Photo/CNS)
Chinese President Xi Jinping met with visiting US Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday morning, pledging China's commitment to a new model of China-US relationship.
In the meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Xi said he was very glad to see Kerry again as this is the second meeting between them since they came together in Bali, Indonesia, last October.
"China is firmly committed to building a new model of China-US relationship together with the US side, and will continue to enhance dialogue, boost mutual trust and cooperation and properly handle differences in the new year so as to forge ahead with the lasting and healthy development of the ties," Xi told Kerry.
As Friday coincided with China's Lantern Festival, an important festival within the lunar New Year, Xi also sent his best wishes for the Year of the Horse to Kerry and through him to President Barack Obama.
For his part, Kerry told Xi that Obama "is very much looking forward to seeing you again shortly," and that the president will keep their close engagement.
Calling the Year of the Horse "a joyful and hopefully auspicious time for all of us," the secretary of state noted that the two countries are celebrating the 35th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral ties. He said taking an updated approach to the relationship between great powers is "very important" for the United States as well.
Kerry also called on the two sides to strengthen concrete cooperation, control disputes and give more impetus for the development of ties.
With regard to climate change, Xi stressed that China is attaching great importance to environment protection. "It is not at others' demand but our own will. We have already taken many measures and will do more in the future," Xi said.
He called on the two countries, despite their different development stages, to make more cooperative achievements concerning the environment, especially in areas including green and low-carbon economy, energy saving and emission reduction.
Kerry echoed Xi, saying the United States will strengthen communication and cooperation with China and make joint efforts to advance the global agenda on climate change. The two sides also discussed the situation on the Korean peninsula, with Xi setting forth China's stance.
Xi met Obama twice last year. Apart from their meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Russia in September, they held two-day talks in California in June and reached a consensus on building relations which feature no conflict, no confrontation, mutual respect, cooperation and common prosperity.
Kerry arrived in Beijing from Seoul earlier on Friday morning, starting his two-day visit to China.
This is his second visit to China and his fifth to Asia since he took office in February last year. Besides China and the Republic of Korea, Kerry's four-leg tour will also take him to Indonesia and the United Arab Emirates.