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US, China Set the Stage for Obama-Xi Summit

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Beijing – An upcoming summit with President Barack Obama comes at a “critical juncture” in relations between China and the U.S., Chinese President Xi Jinping said Monday, underscoring the challenge they face in confronting divisive security issues and overcoming growing distrust.

Xi told U.S. National Security Adviser Tom Donilon – who was in Beijing to prepare for the June 7-8 meeting – that he expected positive results from the talks, which will be their first face-to-face meeting since Obama’s re-election and Xi’s promotion to head of the Communist Party last November. “The current China-U.S. relationship is at a critical juncture,” Xi said. The sides must now “build on past successes and open up new dimensions for the future.”

In a sign that both sides want to stem a drift in ties, the summit is taking place months earlier than the two presidents were supposed to meet. The setting – at the private Sunnylands estate of the late publishing tycoon Walter Annenberg in southern California – is supposed to be informal, giving Xi and Obama a chance to build a rapport. (AP)

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