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Politics

US-China summit set for Sept. 25

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U.S. President Barack Obama, left, shakes hands with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, at a news conference in Beijing's Great Hall of the People on Nov. 12, 2014.   © Reuters

WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Barack Obama will hold a summit with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, in Washington on Sept. 25, it has been learned.

     During the state visit, the leaders will meet for dinner on Sept. 24 before holding talks in the White House the following morning. The talks will be followed by a banquet later the same day. China's unofficial request that Xi be allowed to give a speech before Congress was turned down. 

     It will be the Chinese leader's first visit to the U.S. since he visited the Sunnylands estate, a popular retreat in Southern California, in June 2013.

     Obama is expected to use the occasion to criticize China for its land reclamation efforts and sovereignty claims in the South China Sea, and demand that the country stop such actions. The U.S. leader will also likely ask China to immediately stop launching cyberattacks on the U.S. government and companies.

     Xi is expected to object to such complaints and reject any related demands. After visiting the U.S. capital, Xi is scheduled to travel to New York to attend a U.N. General Assembly meeting.

     On Sept. 4, the U.S. Department of Defense announced that five Chinese navy vessels breached U.S. territorial waters when passing near the Aleutian Islands. Though the act did not violate international law, Washington saw it as provocative and is considering responding by sending navy ships and aircraft within 12 nautical miles of artificial islands built by China in the South China Sea.

     According to U.S. media reports, the White House is also contemplating imposing sanctions on China over the cyberattacks.

     Some Republican candidates for next year's U.S. presidential election are calling on Washington not to accord "state guest" status to Xi during the visit. 

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