U.S. President Barack Obama says he welcomes the "peaceful rise" of China as he and Chinese President Xi Jinping started two days of talks in California.
"And for my part, this will give me an opportunity to reiterate how the United States welcomes the continuing peaceful rise of China as a world power and that, in fact, it is in the United States' interest that China continues on the path of success, because we believe that a peaceful and stable and prosperous China is not only good for Chinese but also good for the world and for the United States," Obama said alongside Xi ahead of their meeting.
Hosting Xi at a luxurious desert estate in southern California, Obama said he hoped to work together with China on cybersecurity, an issue that has created friction between the two countries.
Obama said despite inevitable areas of tension, both countries want a cooperative relationship.
"Inevitably, there are areas of tension between our two countries, but what I've learned over the last four years is both the Chinese people and the American people want a strong, cooperative relationship, and that I think there's a strong recognition on the part of both President Xi and myself that it is very much in our interest to work together to meet the global challenges that we face," Obama explained.
The two leaders later expressed their desire to resolve cybersecurity issues.
Xi expressed the hope for deeper cooperation, saying China and the United States could build a new model of "big country" relations.
"Both sides should proceed from the fundamental interests of our peoples and bear in mind human development and progress. We need to think creatively and act energetically so that working together we can build a new model of major country relationship," Xi said.
Xi is meeting Obama for the first time since assuming the presidency in March. Among other issues, he is expected to express concern over U.S. intentions to shift U.S. military forces toward the Pacific.
Based on Reuters and AP reporting