Xi leaves for US, to hold summit with Obama

Updated: 2013-06-07 07:16


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MERIDA, Mexico - Chinese President Xi Jinping concluded his three-day state visit to Mexico on Thursday and departed for California, where he will meet US President Barack Obama for the first time since taking office in March.

Xi flew to Merida, capital of the state of Yucatan of Mexico, Wednesday afternoon.

On Thursday morning, the president had a tour of Chichen Itza, an archaeological zone built by the Mayan civilization.

Chichen Itza, situated in the eastern region of the state of Yucatan, serves as the pride of Mexico.

Soon after his arrival in Mexico City Tuesday afternoon, Xi held talks with his Mexican counterpart Enrique Pena Nieto on bilateral cooperation and regional issues of common interest.

The two leaders agreed in their discussion to lift the bilateral relationship to a comprehensive strategic partnership.

Xi said the decision to upgrade the bilateral relationship is a realistic requirement, and it also sets a clear target for the development of bilateral relations.

Pena Nieto, for his part, said the upgrade of Mexico-China ties indicates that bilateral cooperation has entered a new stage.

The two heads of state agreed that China and Mexico will maintain exchanges between high-level leaders, political parties and legislatures.

They will also give full play to the existing consultation and dialogue mechanisms, and improve coordination on each other's development strategies.

The two sides vowed to improve practical cooperation in accordance with their development strategies, and agreed to increase mutual investment in key areas such as energy, mining, infrastructure and high technology.

In order to promote trade balance, China expressed support for the increase of imports from Mexico, while Mexico promised to create favorable conditions for Chinese investors.

Both countries agreed to encourage more exchanges between art troupes, promote tourism and strengthen communication among students, academics, journalists and athletes.

As a result of consultations, China will build a Chinese cultural center in Mexico City, the first in Latin America and the Caribbean, and Mexico will establish a Mexican cultural center in Beijing as well.

The two countries also agreed to maintain close communication and coordination on global economic governance, energy security, food safety and climate change.

China-Mexico relations have developed at a fast pace since the two countries became strategic partners in 2003. The two countries have maintained frequent exchanges of high-level visits and deepened mutual political trust.

China is Mexico's second largest trading partner in the world, while Mexico is China's second biggest trading partner in Latin America. Last year, the two-way trade between the two countries was registered at $36.6 billion dollars.

By the end of last year, China's investment in Mexico totaled $340 million dollars, while Mexico's investment in China was $106 million.

Mexico is the last leg of Xi's three-nation Latin America tour, which has already taken him to Trinidad and Tobago and Costa Rica.

The China-US summit, the first between the presidents of China and the United States since both nations carried out their most recent leadership transitions, will be held in Rancho Mirage, Calif., on Friday and Saturday.

Xi and Obama are expected to exchange views on domestic and foreign policies, as well as issues of pivotal importance and regional and international issues of common concern, Chinese officials have said.