Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) meets with visiting Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, Aug. 17, 2017. (Xinhua/Li Xueren)
Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday said he expects military relations would become a major stabilizing factor in Sino-U.S. ties.
Xi was meeting with Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, the first senior military official to visit China since U.S. President Donald Trump took office.
Xi, also chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC), said although the visit was brief, it was wide-ranging, showing how relations between the two armed forces have made substantial steps forward.
He applauded the new progress made in relations between the two armed forces, such as enhanced dialogue at all levels and improved military confidence-building mechanisms as well as deepened cooperation.
During Dunford's visit, the two militaries signed the framework to build a new communication mechanism for their joint staff departments, which Xi said will play a positive role in boosting bilateral ties.
He expected that the two armed forces could make good use of existing cooperation mechanisms and platforms to push forward their relations.
China is ready to make joint efforts with the U.S. to show mutual respect, focus on cooperation and accumulate more fruitful results to benefit people of the two countries, said Xi.
As major influential countries in the region and the world as well as world's top two economies, China and the United States shoulder important responsibility to safeguard world peace and stability and to promote global development and prosperity, he said.
The general direction of Sino-U.S. relations not only concerns the fundamental interests of the two nations and their people, but also profoundly affects the overall international strategic situation, he said.
"President Trump and I have attached great importance to Sino-U.S. relations and are willing to actively promote the continuous development of bilateral ties," he said.
Xi noted that a prosperous United States will benefit China, while a growing China is also in the interests of the United States.
Despite some ups and downs in the development of bilateral relations, a rainbow comes after wind and rain, he said.
He hoped that the two sides could show sincerity and good-will to each other, maintain close communications, properly handle disputes, and work together on building a better future.
Dunford conveyed the greetings of President Trump to Xi, saying Trump expects to visit China this year.
He said under the strong leadership of the two heads of state, bilateral military relations have made positive progress and the two armed forces are in a mature relationship.
He said the U.S. is committed to conducting sincere and professional dialogue with China in the military realm.
Dunford hoped that the two sides could expand exchanges and cooperation, improve risk control and increase mutual trust to jointly promote the stable development of bilateral military ties.
Xi asked Dunford to convey his greetings to President Trump and welcomd Trump to visit China this year.
During his visit, Dunford also met with Fang Fenghui, chief of the CMC Joint Staff Department; Fan Changlong, CMC vice chairman; and Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi.