I met for almost four hours today with Vice Foreign Minister Cui and a range of other officials from the Foreign Ministry and elsewhere. During those discussions we reviewed the results of last year, a very successful visit of President Hu to the United States, a number of high-level engagements at various multilateral fora, G-20, APEC, East Asia Summit—high-level engagements including those with Secretary Clinton and Foreign Minister Yang and State Councilor Dai, and our National Security Advisor Tom Donilon. We reviewed the schedule ahead and I think both sides acknowledged how important the year 2012 will be in U.S.-China relations and the importance we place on maintaining steady progress in our bilateral relations. We talked about the prospective visit of Vice President Xi Jinping to Washington at a time of mutual convenience; also the planning for the Strategic and Economic Dialogue that will be taking place in Beijing later this year.
In addition to those issues, we had a detailed discussion on a range of bilateral issues, including the recent visit of Secretary Clinton to Burma, what our Chinese friends call Myanmar. Areas of discussion also included our cooperation in East Asia and the Pacific. We talked about developments in Iran, Pakistan, other issues in South Asia, and also developments across the Taiwan Strait, with the upcoming election, and also North Korea.
On North Korea, I think the United States and China share strong determination to maintain peace and stability. I think we both underscored how important it will be over the course of the coming months, to maintain very close contact between Washington and Beijing. And I indicated that we would be closely monitoring the situation there and that we urged all parties to cautiously deal with the situation and to refrain from any provocations.
I invited Vice Foreign Minister Cui to come to Washington later this year for the round of our Asia-Pacific consultations and he has accepted. So I think with that that’s a general broad overview of where we are and I’ll be giving other statements as we go.
Thank you all very much.