|Chinese ambassador to the U. S. Zhang Yesui (C) is having an online talk with Xinhuanet.com netizens in the Chinese Embassy in Washington, the United States, Jan. 12, 2011. (Xinhua/Wang Fengfeng)
BEIJING, Jan. 12 (Xinhuanet) -- Chinese President Hu Jintao's visit to the U.S. next week is a significant event, Zhang Yesui, Chinese ambassador to the United States, said in his cross-ocean online interview from Xinhuanet Wednesday morning.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the restoration of China-U.S. contacts and the beginning of the second decade of the 21st century. The Sino-U.S. relations are breaking new ground for the future. President Hu's visit at this point is of great importance, Zhang said.
Zhang also pointed out that although differences and friction do exist between both sides, mutual understanding and respect are the key points for successful cooperation. He said that overall, the common interests outweigh differences, which means dialogue and cooperation remain the main stream of Sino-U.S. relations.
President Hu will pay a state visit to the United States from Jan. 18 to 21 at the invitation of U.S. President Barack Obama, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei announced Friday.
Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi paid a five-day visit to the U.S., which is viewed as preparations for President Hu's upcoming visit. Yang met with U.S. President Barack Obama, and other officials and lawmakers. Trade imbalances and Korean peninsula tensions top their wide-ranging agenda, which will likely be the focus of the upcoming visit.
Besides Yang's visit to the U.S., officials from both sides have already ratcheted up interaction.
Under Secretary of U.S.Treasury Lael Brainard, who arrived in Beijing last Friday morning, is the first foreign official Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan has met in 2011.
"During their meeting, Brainard briefed Wang on how the United States has been preparing the economic agenda of President Hu's visit," according to an official statement issued after the meeting.
Also last week, U.S. Special Representative for Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) policy Stephen Bosworth visited Beijing as part of a three-nation tour aiming to ease tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
On the heels of Brainard's visit, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates visited Beijing from Jan. 9 to 12 to resume U.S.-China military ties, which stalled when the Pentagon decided to sell a nearly 6.4-billion-U.S.-dollar arms package to Taiwan in Jan. 2010.