Begin forwarded message:
From: "Memoli, Michael" >
Date: November 19, 2016 at 5:46:14 PM GMT-5
To: "Velz, Peter T. EOP/WHO" >
Subject: Travel Pool 9b: Full Xi Bilat report
Pool entered a conference room on the 4th floor of the JW Marriott at 5:16 pm. The Chinese and U.S. delegations were seated opposite one another at a long table divided by a decorative floral arrangement. A blue curtain with sets of U.S. and China flags were at the back of the room.
The two presidents were seated in the middle of their delegations. USTR Mike Froman was to POTUS' right, Susan Rice to his left.
POTUS spoke first, noting that this was his ninth meeting with Xi, and praising their effective partnership on global challenges from growth, preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapon, the Ebola epidemic. "We've demonstrated what's possible when our two countries work together," he said.
"In particular, the United States and China have played a pivotal role in pressing the world to act on climate change," Obama added. After formally joining the Paris agreement in Hangzhou, "Now we face the work of making sure our economies transition to become more sustainable."
He said he and Xi "are united on our strong opposition to North Korea's provocations, and we will intensify our efforts to de-nuclearize the Korean peninsula." In the South China Sea, the U.S. continues to urge claimants to lower tensions and peacefully resolve disputes.
He said he expected a "candid conversation on areas where we continue to differ, including the creation of a more level playing field for our businesses to compete, innovation policies, excess capacity, and human rights."
As this is his last meeting as president, POTUS said he wanted to "take this opportunity to note our work together to build a more durable and productive set of bilateral ties." The relationship between the two countries "is the most consequential in the world. I continue to believe that a constructive U.S.-China relationship benefits our two peoples and benefits the entire globe."
Xi then spoke beginning at 5:19 pm. Through interpreter, he noted this was their third meeting just this year, and ninth in three years. "This really shows the two sides' shared commitment to the China-U.S. relationship."
Xi commended POTUS for his "active efforts" to grow that relationship. Since their last meeting in Hangzhou, the U.S.-China relationship has "generally speaking, continued to grow in a stable manner." He noted continued close communication and coordination on climate change and the Korean peninsula.
"We meet at a hinge moment in the China-U.S. relationship. I hope the two sides will work together to focus on cooperation, manage our differences, and make sure there is a smooth transition in the relationship and that it will continue to grow going forward."
He said China stands ready to have more coordination with the U.S. and to work with others to make sure the APEC summit is a success.
Pool was quickly ushered out at the conclusion of the remarks. We are again holding at our scenic file watching the sun set over the Pacific.