BEIJING — Chinese President Xi Jinping praised Barack Obama’s efforts to develop relations between the nations when he was president of the United States, Chinese state media reported Thursday.
Obama met with Xi on Wednesday at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing and discussed bilateral ties, the official Xinhua News Agency said.
Xi “made positive comments” about Obama’s efforts to develop bilateral relations when he was president, Xinhua said.
“Maintaining the long-term, healthy and stable development of Sino-U.S. relations is in the interests of both China and the U.S. and other countries in the world,” Xi was quoted as saying.
Obama arrived on Tuesday in Shanghai, where he spoke at a business conference before traveling to Beijing to attend an education event.
The tour continues a longstanding tradition of former U.S. presidents traveling overseas after leaving office, especially as they work to attract donations and other support for their foundations, libraries and presidential centers.
But Obama’s trip may garner particular attention, given that many foreign countries are still uncertain about Trump’s foreign policy and may look to his predecessor to help explain America’s current direction.
Only a few weeks earlier, Xi had hosted Trump for a high-profile visit.
Obama’s office said they planned to discuss the global economy, climate change and other issues.
Obama’s three-country tour this week will also include meetings with the leader of India. He will mix paid speeches with meetings with foreign leaders and a town hall event for young people.
Obama is to finish the trip in France, where he will give one of several speeches planned during the trip.