U.S. President Barack Obama and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, have completed a two-day informal summit that addressed issues including cybersecurity, North Korea and climate change.
National security adviser Tom Donilon told reporters the two leaders agreed that resolving cybersecurity differences would be key to the future of the relationship. Donilon also said the two leaders agreed that North Korea must abandon its nuclear weapons program.
If cybersecurity issues are not addressed, and the direct theft of U.S. property continues, Donilon said there will be a very difficult problem in the economic relationship.
Both Donilon and Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi said President Xi told Obama that Beijing and Washington were in agreement on the North Korean nuclear issue and that neither country will accept North Korea as a nuclear state.
North Korea depends heavily on China for aid and trade, and Beijing maintains close ties with Pyongyang. However, North Korea’s recent bellicose rhetoric, including threats of nuclear strikes on the United States and other South Korean allies, has visibly cooled those ties in recent months.
Both Donilon and Chinese State Councilor Yang spoke to reporters separately, as the leaders of the world’s two largest economies ended the two-day summit in California.
The White House said earlier that both presidents also agreed on a joint effort to combat climate change, including a push to curb the production of what it called “super greenhouse gases.”
A White House statement said a global phase down of hydroflourocarbons used in air conditioners and refrigerators could significantly reduce greenhouse gases in the atmosphere by 2050.
Ahead of the meeting, U.S. officials described the summit as an opportunity for President Obama and President Xi to speak candidly about the issues affecting their two countries.
The Chinese leader arrived in California Thursday after visits to Mexico, Costa Rica and Trinidad.
He and Obama were originally scheduled to hold their first meeting of the year in September at the G20 Summit in Russia. But both sides agreed there was a need to meet earlier.