BEIJING: Chinese President Xi Jinping will meet with his US counterpart Barack Obama on the sidelines of the fourth Nuclear Security Summit in Washington next week to discuss several issues including increasing friction between the two countries over the disputed South China Sea.
“It will be the first meeting between the two heads of state this year. It will be of great significance in advancing the bilateral relationship in a sustained and stable way,” Vice Foreign Minister Li Baodong said at a briefing on Mr Xi’s upcoming trip.
The meeting is regarded significant as it provides an opportunity for the two leaders to discuss bilateral tensions over the South China Sea, where the US is challenging China’s claims by sending its naval ships and aircraft.
Mr Li said Mr Xi will also meet with other state leaders on the sidelines of the summit to exchange views on bilateral relations as well as international and regional issues of common concern.
Invited by Mr Obama, Mr Xi will attend the fourth Nuclear Security Summit to be held in Washington from March 31 to April 1.
Prior to attending the summit, Xi will make a state visit to the Czech Republic from March 28 to 30 at the invitation of Czech President Milos Zeman.