7 Jun 2013

China-US meeting bodes well for Pacific region: China scholar

7:20 am on 7 June 2013

A China foreign policy scholar says this weekend's summit between the presidents of the United States and China bodes well for the Pacific Island region.

Barack Obama and Xi Jin Ping are meeting against a background of US increased focus on the Asia Pacific, territorial disputes between China and its neighbours and perceived US-China competition for influence in the Pacific.

Professor Xiaoming Huang of the New Zealand Contemporary China Research Centre says the get-together on an estate in California heralds a new more personal relationship.

"This whole informal summit's main function is to clarify and get an understanding between the two, in terms of what the two are doing, working together or (not). It will be positive, I think, for the countries in the region."

Professor Huang says President Xi Jinping is seen as strong and tough-minded and observers are watching the event closely for an indication of China's direction on foreign policy.