BEIJING – China's leader Xi Jinping will make his first state visit as president to the United States in September, Chinese official media reported Wednesday, underlining positive momentum in the often-troubled relationship between the world's largest economies.
The state-run Xinhua News Agency said Xi had accepted President Barack Obama's invitation to visit in a telephone call between the two overnight. The announcement came as U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken was in Beijing to meet Chinese officials.
Obama visited China in November to attend the annual summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum during which he held a separate day of meetings with Xi.
Obama and Xi also met in the U.S. in June 2013 for an informal summit at the Sunnylands estate in Rancho Mirage, California, a meeting cited by the Chinese side as helping redefine ties based on equality and mutual respect.
The U.S. and China have been working together on a range of high-profile issues, including pledging to cut back on their emissions of greenhouse gases. At the same time, the two have clashed diplomatically on several fronts, including over cyber-espionage allegations and Chinese actions asserting its maritime territorial claims against U.S. treaty partners Japan and the Philippines.
The White House said Obama and Xi held a wide-ranging telephone conversation on Tuesday night, touching on issues from China's assistance to West African nations battling the Ebola virus to prospects for a U.S.-China investment treaty.
The two also reaffirmed their commitment to closely coordinate on threats to global security. It singled out efforts to encourage Iran to respond positively in negotiations over its nuclear programs with the five United Nations Security Council members, including both China and the U.S., along with Germany.
Speaking to reporters in Beijing on Wednesday, Blinken said his visit aimed to "deepen our practical cooperation, to manage our differences and to deliver tangible results for the people in China and the United States and others in the world."