15 Feb 2012

Deeper ties between US - China hailed

11:02 am on 15 February 2012

Vice President Xi Jinping of China has hailed deepening economic cooperation with the United States, saying the two countries should strive for a greater balance in trade and investment and resolve issues through dialogue, "not protectionism."

Mr Xi, 58, is in Washington for meetings with President Barack Obama and other American officials, at the invitation of US Vice-President Joe Biden.

He is widely expected to succeed President Hu Jintao, who must retire as head of the Communist Party later this year and from the presidency in 2013.

At a State Department lunch on Tuesday, Mr Xi said Beijing stands ready to hold a ''candid and constructive" dialogue with the US on the issue of human rights, as long as it is conducted on the basis of mutual respect.