Obama greets Chinese President Xi Jinping
U.S. President Barack Obama (R) greets Chinese President Xi Jinping in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington September 25, 2015. Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

U.S. President Barack Obama welcomed his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping at the White House on Friday. Obama said the Chinese leader’s visit symbolised a long history of cooperation and friendship between the two nations.

The U.S. president indicated a stronger relationship with China. “When the United States and China work together, it makes our nations and the world more prosperous and secure,” the NY Times quoted Obama as saying. He, however, acknowledged the differences between China and the United States. “Even as our nations cooperate, I believe, and I know that you agree, we must address our differences candidly,” he added.

Relations between the two countries had recently been affected by China’s alleged cyber spying. There have also been controversies regarding territorial disputes in the South China Sea and China’s economic policies.

Mr Obama is expected to discuss environmental issues with the Chinese president. Mr Xi is speculated to start a national cap-and-trade program in 2017 to limit greenhouse emission and allow companies to sell and buy permits for pollution.

According to Fox News, the Chinese president has no intention to have diplomatic settlements with Mr Obama during the visit. “He is coming to Washington so China Central Television, the state broadcaster, can carry images of the South Lawn welcoming ceremony, the 21-gun salute, and North Portico state dinner,” Gordon G. Chang wrote.

The author of "The Coming Collapse of China" added that Mr Xi wanted to impress the people of China by showing how the most powerful democracy in the world showed respect to their president. “In short, by according the full honours of a state visit to Xi, America is conferring legitimacy on the Communist Party of China,” he wrote.

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