At Joint Press Conference With Obama, Xi Extends Invitation to US to Join New Silk Road

November 12, 2014

The U.S. and Chinese Presidents held a joint press conference at the conclusion of their meetings on Wednesday at the APEC Summit in Beijing. While Chinese leaders don't always agree to this, President Xi, who is unusual in many respects, agreed to hold one. At the press conference, President Xi reiterated some of the things he had presented to Obama during their meetings:

"I told President Obama that China has proposed the Asian security concept at the CICA summit here in May in order to encourage Asian countries to view common security in an inclusive and cooperative spirit. At the same time, I also said that the Pacific Ocean is broad enough to accommodate the development of both China and the United States, and our two countries to work together to contribute to security in Asia. These are mutually complementary efforts instead of mutually exclusive ones. China and the U.S. should continue to enhance dialogue and coordination on Asia Pacific affairs, and respect and accommodate each others interests and concerns in this region, and develop inclusive coordination."

President Xi also extended an invitation to the United States to take part in the New Silk Road initiatives.

"I also introduced to President Obama China's initiatives of establishing the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the Silk Road Fund. Underdeveloped infrastructure is the main bottleneck obstructing the economic development in Asia. China has initiated the AIIB in order to offer support and facility to regional infrastructure development. These proposals and initiatives are open and inclusive in Asia; they are not exclusive. We welcome the active participation of the United States and other relevant countries so that together we can promote and share prosperity and peace in Asia Pacific."

"China is ready to work with the United States to make efforts in a number of priority areas and putting into effect such principles as non-confrontation, non-conflict, mutual respect, and win-win cooperation," Xi said. "And with unwavering spirit and unremitting efforts, we will promote new progress in building a new type model of major-country relations between the two countries, so as to bring greater benefits to our two peoples and two countries."

The two also took questions. When a New York Times reporter, who was called on by President Obama, started also to ask President Xi obviously provocative questions about whether he thought the U.S. was conducting a policy of containment and the refusal to grant visas to some journalists, President Xi simply let President Obama answer the question that was directed to him, and simply ignored the reporter and moved on to take a question from China Daily.

Much hype is being made in the press and by the U.S delegation about the agreement signed on climate change. In the Climate Change Agreement, China commits to bring its use of "non-fossil fuels" by 2030 to around 20%. The U.S. promises to reduce CO2 gas emissions by 2028 to below 2005 levels. While the U.S. was pushing such a climate change agreement as the only real area of cooperation they have had with China for which they wanted some "deliverable agreement," and China, for its own reasons, went along with it, it should be noted that "non-fossil fuels," in the Chinese view also includes nuclear energy, which, of course, the U.S. side never mentions. China additionally wants to bring down the pollution caused by fossil fuels in China, but the agreements reached with the U.S. are not binding. And, judging from the reaction of a Republican-dominated U.S. Congress, the indicated cuts may be prove well beyond the ability of the lame-duck President to deliver.

The two sides also agreed to work to get into place an agreement on information technology trade as well as a Bilateral Investment Treaty, and were putting together a still-unclear mechanism for "de-conflicting" the potential hot-spots in the South China and East China Sea, according to a White House briefer.