All agree that the relationship between these nations is of paramount importance, yet it continues to be hindered by currency disputes. In his January State of the Union address, Obama announced he was creating a trade enforcement unit to take a legal position against other nations' trade enforcement matters. Tension exists owing to China’s pereceived efforts to control the Chinese currency, the renminbi, making it, according to US officials, undervalued.
As the leaders spoke, the Senate was holding hearings on Chinese computer hacking. The US has accused China of electronic theft and industrial espionage. These matters cannot automatically be blamed on the Chinese government, and are considered very sensitive. Obama pressed Xi as to these issues but at the same time praised China for helping to thwart the Iranian nuclear program.
The five day American trip by Vice President Xi, expected to be the leader of China later this year, has been extensively covered by the state-run Chinese media. The Global Times, run by the Communist Party, on Monday editorialized, “The US has never met a competitor like China before.” China and America have a mutual interest in good relations, and much in common; Beijing, like the US, is grappling with how to deal with rising prices and a widening gap between rich and poor.
Speaking to the media with Xi at his side, Obama said, "We've tried to emphasize that because of China's extraordinary development over the last two decades, that with expanding power and prosperity also comes increased responsibilities…We want to work with China to make sure everyone is working by the same rules of the road when it comes to the world economic system."