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New Chinese Leader Xi Meets U.S. Treasury Secretary

U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew (file photo)

U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew (file photo)

China's new leader Xi Jinping has met with the U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew in Beijing.

Xi stressed the importance of China's relationship with the United States.

"In the China-US relationship, we have enormous shared interests, and of course unavoidably we have some differences," Xi said. "But as long as we both approach and handle this relationship from a strategic and long-term perspective, I believe our relationship will always stick to the set direction, and move forward for the benefits of the people in both countries."

Lew expressed Washington's desire to work with Beijing to lower trade barriers and protect U.S. businesses from having their work copied by Chinese companies.

"As the world's two largest economies, the United States and China have a special responsibility to maintain strong, stable and sustained growth in the world," Lew said. "And we look forward to China contributing more and more to global demand."

U.S. companies face barriers to invest in around 100 Chinese sectors, while China has complained the United States blocks Chinese investments on unjust national-security grounds.

The United States is eager for China to move toward a more consumer-oriented economy and away from investment and export-driven growth, which contributed to a record-high $315 billion U.S. trade deficit with China last year.

On March 17, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, the head of government, pledged to forge "a new type of relationship" with the United States and called for the end of a hacking row between the two countries.

Last month, a private U.S. computer security company said a secretive Chinese military unit was likely behind a series of cyberattacks targeting the United States.

U.S. President Barack Obama raised the issue during a phone call with Xi last week.

Based on Reuters and AP reporting