Chinese President Xi Jinping will make his first state visit to the United States in September, China's state media reported Wednesday, suggesting an escalation of efforts to resolve issues that have hurt relations between the two countries in recent months.
According to state-run Xinhua News Agency, Xi accepted the invitation during a phone call with U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday, when both leaders “agreed to make full preparations to ensure the success of the trip.” The White House said that Obama called for “swift work” by Beijing to resolve differences between the two nations over issues related to cybersecurity.
Both the U.S. and China have been cooperating on several high-profile issues, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions to help counter climate change. At the same time, the two countries have also clashed over several issues regarding cyber-espionage, and China’s territorial claims in the East and South China seas.
“The two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to coordinate closely on security challenges, including by jointly encouraging Iran to seize the historic opportunity presented by P5+1 negotiations,” the White House said in a statement, obtained by Reuters.
The confirmation of Xi’s U.S. visit came while U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken was in Beijing. According to Blinken, his visit was aimed at increasing “practical cooperation, to manage our differences and to deliver tangible results for the people in China and the United States and others in the world,” The Associated Press reported.
Xi last met with Obama in November after an Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in Beijing. The two leaders also met at an informal summit in California in June 2013.