News Column

US, China Presidents Discuss N. Korea, Exchange Rate

March 14, 2013

US President Barack Obama telephoned Thursday with Chinese President Xi Jinping, discussing issues including North Korea's nuclear and missile programmes, the White House said.

Obama stressed the need for close coordination with Beijing to ensure North Korea meets its denuclearization commitments, the White House said.

China's nominal state parliament earlier Thursday appointed Xi, the Communist Party leader, as the nation's president, succeeding Hu Jintao.

Obama welcomed China's G-20 commitment to move toward a more flexible exchange rate.

He underscored the importance of working together to expand trade and investment opportunities and to protect intellectual property rights. Obama underlined the importance of addressing the "shared challenge" cyber-security threats.

Obama congratulated Xi on his new position, and the two leaders agreed to maintain frequent and direct communication, the White House said.

The US president noted that his newly confirmed Treasury secretary, Jacob Lew, will visit China next week and that Secretary of State John Kerry will stop in Beijing in the coming weeks during an upcoming trip to Asia.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said Obama has "always put a priority on our relationship with China."

Source: Copyright 2013 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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