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01 Dec 2017

All smiles as "veteran cadres" Obama and Xi reunite

Former US President Barack Obama met Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing, weeks serving American President Donald Trump's maiden state visit to China.

Obama and Xi were seen smiling in what Chinese state-run news agency Xinhua described as a meeting between "veteran cadres."

The warm meeting is in contrast to their sometimes fraught relationship during Obama's tenure over his "pivot to Asia" policy.

In context

"Veteran cadres" Obama and Xi meet in Beijing
Obama had "looked forward to catching up" with Xi

Old partners

Obama had "looked forward to catching up" with Xi

Obama is no longer president but his Beijing proves that he continues to enjoy a high standing in international affairs.

"As President, Obama forged a close and cooperative partnership with President Xi on issues ranging from growing the global economy to combating climate change, and he looks forward to catching up with his former counterpart," an Obama spokesperson said prior to the visit.


Xi hailed Obama's efforts to promote China-US ties

"Xi made a positive appraisal of Obama's efforts in promoting China-US relations during his presidency," Xinhua news reported.

"China and the United States have an important responsibility to safeguard world peace and stability," said Xi.

Obama reportedly pledged to work towards improving US-China relations.

Interestingly, Xinhua described the two leaders as "veteran cadres," a term normally reserved for retired Communist Party officials.

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Obama-Xi shared moments of fraught relations in the past

Obama's "pivot to Asia" strategy saw him increase the US military's presence in the Indo-Pacific region.

He was critical of China's expansionist policies in the South and the East China Sea, and its human rights record, leading to moments of difficult bilateral relations.

Meanwhile, Trump recently said he and Xi have a "very good relationship" which is "the best relationship of any president-president."

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