China’s Xi Concludes US Visit in Los Angeles

Posted February 17th, 2012 at 5:20 pm (UTC-5)
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Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping has concluded a four-day visit to the United States by saying that Americans benefit from their relationship with China.

Xi told the China-U.S. Economic Trade Forum in Los Angeles Friday that a prosperous and stable China will not be a threat to any country. He said it would only be a positive force for peace and development.

Xi, who is expected to become China's president next year, also visited a Los Angeles school Friday with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden.

Biden told the students, who are specializing in Asian studies, that the relationship between the United States and China is the single most consequential relationship in the 21st century.

Also Friday, a U.S. movie studio, DreamWorks Animation, announced a $330 million joint venture with three Chinese companies. It says the partner companies will operate a studio in Shanghai.

Despite an overall warm welcome, U.S. leaders did not turn away from sensitive issues. Biden and President Barack Obama raised human rights concerns with Xi during meetings at the White House Tuesday.

During Xi's visit to Congress on Wednesday, House Speaker John Boehner gave him with a letter of concern about Gao Zhisheng, a prominent Chinese human rights lawyer who disappeared nearly two years ago. Senator John McCain said he discussed recent protest actions by Tibetan monks, including those who set themselves afire to denounce China's rule over their homeland. The senator said he also brought up China's veto to block a U.N. Security Council resolution on Syria.

“As I just mentioned to the vice president, there has been enormous and dynamic economic progress, but we still have Tibetan monks burning themselves to death, we have Nobel Prize winners in house arrest and the continued propping up of North Korea, a brutal regime.”

During his Washington visit, Xi demanded that the U.S. respect China's sovereignty over Tibet and Taiwan. He also called for more balanced economic ties between the two countries and closer cooperation on international problems, including tensions over North Korea and Iran. Beijing considers Taiwan a renegade province and has warned the island not to move toward declaring formal independence.