On September 24-25, 2015, President Barack Obama hosted President Xi Jinping of China for a State visit. The two heads of state exchanged views on a range of global, regional, and bilateral subjects. President Obama and President Xi agreed to work together to constructively manage our differences and decided to expand and deepen cooperation in the following areas:
Addressing Global and Regional Challenges
- Afghanistan. The United States and China decided to maintain communication and cooperation with one another on Afghanistan to support peaceful reconstruction and economic development in Afghanistan, support an “Afghan led, Afghan owned” reconciliation process, and promote trilateral dialogue among the United States, China, and Afghanistan. Together with Afghanistan, the United States and China will co-chair a high-level event on Afghanistan’s reconstruction and development on the margins of the UN General Assembly on September 26. This event will convene Afghanistan’s neighbors and the international community to discuss the importance of continuing robust regional and international support for the Afghan government and regional economic cooperation. The United States and China jointly renew their call on the Taliban to enter into direct talks with the Government of Afghanistan. The United States and China also noted their mutual interests in supporting peace, stability, and prosperity in neighboring countries of Afghanistan, and to working in partnership with these countries to promote peace and stability in Afghanistan and the region.
- Peacekeeping. In recognition of the critical role UN and regional peacekeepers serve in maintaining international peace and security, the United States and China affirm to further increase their robust commitments to international peacekeeping efforts. The Chinese side appreciates the U.S. side’s holding of the Leaders’ Summit on Peacekeeping, and welcomes the new contributions to be announced by the United States to support peace operations. The United States welcomes the new contributions to be announced by China to support UN peacekeeping efforts. The United States and China recognize the need to deepen the partnership between the African Union and the United Nations on peace operations. Both sides look forward to an enhanced discussion with the African Union and other partners to further explore proposals to this end. Both sides decided to continue discussions to deepen cooperation on capacity building for troop- and police-contributing countries.
- Nuclear Security. The United States and China commit to deepen their cooperation on nuclear security and to work together to make the Nuclear Security Summit hosted by President Obama next year a success. The two sides plan to hold an annual bilateral dialogue on nuclear security, with the first meeting of the dialogue to be held prior to the 2016 Nuclear Security Summit.
- Wildlife Trafficking. The United States and China, recognizing the importance and urgency of combating wildlife trafficking, commit to take positive measures to address this global challenge. The United States and China commit to enact nearly complete bans on ivory import and export, including significant and timely restrictions on the import of ivory as hunting trophies, and to take significant and timely steps to halt the domestic commercial trade of ivory. The two sides decided to further cooperate in joint training, technical exchanges, information sharing, and public education on combating wildlife trafficking, and enhance international law enforcement cooperation in this field. The United States and China decided to cooperate with other nations in a comprehensive effort to combat wildlife trafficking.
- Ocean Conservation. The United States and China intend to pursue actively cooperation on polar and ocean matters, including projects related to ocean conservation and expanding joint polar research efforts, and will work together on the proposal to establish a Marine Protected Area (MPA) in Antarctica’s Ross Sea. The two sides also plan to support additional bilateral efforts in these fields, including ocean acidification monitoring and a partnership between the coastal cities of Xiamen and Weihai in China and San Francisco and New York in the United States to share best practices to reduce the flow of trash into the ocean.
Strengthening Development Cooperation
The United States and China signed a Memorandum of Understanding that establishes a framework for development cooperation to guide our future collaborative efforts. The MOU recognizes our shared objectives in ending extreme poverty and advancing global development through enhanced collaboration and communication under the principle of development raised, agreed, and led by recipient countries.
- 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The United States and China are committed to advance sustainable and inclusive international development as laid out in the new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, through expanded cooperation to end poverty and hunger and the promotion of inclusive economic growth, and protection of the environment. The two sides intend to communicate and cooperate in implementing the Agenda and to help other countries achieve common development goals.
- Food Security. The United States and China decided to enhance cooperation on global food security. The two sides intend to enhance communication and coordination with the government of Timor Leste and share lessons learned in agricultural development and food security while exploring prospects for further cooperation. Separately, the two sides intend to explore opportunities to cooperate on climate smart agriculture to produce more and better food for growing populations, while building the resilience of smallholder farmers. Such efforts may include technical cooperation, such as on climate friendly irrigation and mechanization for smallholder farmers in Africa to advance our shared interest in addressing the impact of climate change and enhancing food security.
- Public Health and Global Health Security. The United States and China decided to enhance concrete cooperation in public health and global health security, accelerating full implementation of the World Health Organization International Health Regulations and assisting at-risk countries to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease threats. The two sides plan to jointly work with the African Union and African Union Member States in the establishment of the Africa Center for Disease Control and Prevention and collaborate with partner governments in countries in West Africa to strengthen national public health capacities in the wake of Ebola, including strengthening the capacity of the cadres of public health and front line health workers. The two sides intend to enhance communication and exchanges regarding aid for health in West Africa. The two sides plan to continue to support and contribute to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria.
- Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response. The United States and China decided to expand cooperation on humanitarian response to disasters. The United States and China plan to participate constructively in the May 2016 World Humanitarian Summit. The two sides plan to expand existing cooperation on disaster response through increased support to multilateral mechanisms, including the United Nations International Search and Rescue Advisory Group. The two sides intend to conduct capacity building cooperation for the post-earthquake reconstruction in Nepal through mechanisms that promote collaboration between the international community and the Government of Nepal.
- Multilateral Institutions. The United States and China intend to expand their collaboration with international institutions to tackle key global development challenges.
Strengthening Bilateral Relations
- Military Relations. Building on the two Memoranda of Understanding on Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) signed by the United States and China in November 2014, the two sides completed new annexes on air-to-air safety and crisis communications. The two sides committed to continue discussions on additional annexes to the Notification of Major Military Activities CBM, with the United States prioritizing completion of a mechanism for informing the other party of ballistic missile launches. The U.S. Coast Guard and the China Coast Guard have committed to pursue an arrangement whose intended purpose is equivalent to the Rules of Behavior Confidence Building Measure annex on surface-to-surface encounters in the November 2014 Memorandum of Understanding between the United States Department of Defense and the People’s Republic of China Ministry of National Defense.
- The United States and China agree that timely responses should be provided to requests for information and assistance concerning malicious cyber activities. Further, both sides agree to cooperate, in a manner consistent with their respective national laws and relevant international obligations, with requests to investigate cybercrimes, collect electronic evidence, and mitigate malicious cyber activity emanating from their territory. Both sides also agree to provide updates on the status and results of those investigation to the other side, as appropriate.
- The United States and China agree that neither country’s government will conduct or knowingly support cyber-enabled theft of intellectual property, including trade secrets or other confidential business information, with the intent of providing competitive advantages to companies or commercial sectors.
- Both sides are committed to making common effort to further identify and promote appropriate norms of state behavior in cyberspace within the international community. The United States and China welcome the July 2015 report of the UN Group of Governmental Experts in the Field of Information and Telecommunications in the Context of International security, which addresses norms of behavior and other crucial issues for international security in cyberspace. The two sides also agree to create a senior experts group for further discussions on this topic.
- The United States and China agree to establish a high-level joint dialogue mechanism on fighting cybercrime and related issues. China will designate an official at the ministerial level to be the lead and the Ministry of Public Security, Ministry of State Security, Ministry of Justice, and the State Internet and Information Office will participate in the dialogue. The U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security and the U.S. Attorney General will co-chair the dialogue, with participation from representatives from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Intelligence Community and other agencies, for the United States. This mechanism will be used to review the timeliness and quality of responses to requests for information and assistance with respect to malicious cyber activity of concern identified by either side. As part of this mechanism, both sides agree to establish a hotline for the escalation of issues that may arise in the course of responding to such requests. Finally, both sides agree that the first meeting of this dialogue will be held by the end of 2015, and will occur twice per year thereafter.
- Law Enforcement and Counterterrorism. President Obama and President Xi decided to continue expanding law enforcement and anti-corruption cooperation, including by enhancing coordination and cooperation on criminal investigations, repatriation of fugitives, and asset recovery issues. The United States and China welcomed recent progress on repatriating Chinese fugitives and illegal immigrants through charter flights and look forward to continuing this cooperation. The United States welcomes China’s commitment to consider joining the OECD Working Group on Bribery as a participant in the near future. As a new aspect of the Joint Liaison Group’s role as the primary mechanism for law enforcement cooperation, both sides committed to discuss the mutual recognition and enforcement of forfeiture judgments. The two sides condemn all forms of terrorism and committed to expand exchange of information to counter the transnational flow of foreign terrorist fighters. The United States and China held a Counter-Improvised Explosive Devises (IEDs) Workshop on September 14 in Washington, DC, decided on principles for furthering efforts to counter the threat posed by IEDs, and committed to hold a follow-on workshop in China.
- People-to-People Exchange. The United States and China announced two new initiatives to expand the dynamic and positive people-to-people interaction that is the foundation of our bilateral relationship: (1) A 2016 U.S.-China Tourism Year—a cooperative tourism initiative led by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the China National Tourism Administration to expand and shape travel between our countries. This year of collaboration will include events to promote travel between the two countries, support progress on market access, and advance initiatives for both the United States and China to ensure a quality visitor experience for increasing numbers of travelers to and from both nations. (2) A “One Million Strong” initiative led by the 100,000 Strong Foundation that aims to have one million American students studying Mandarin by 2020. “One Million Strong” goals include doubling the number of Mandarin language teachers in the United States through a major investment in teachers colleges; employing technological tools to engage students in underserved and underrepresented communities; and creating “100K Strong States,” a subnational consortium of U.S. governors committed to expanding Mandarin language-learning in their states.