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US, Chinese Presidents Meet at California Summit

The leaders of the world's two biggest economies -- the United States and China -- opened a two-day meeting in California late Friday to pursue a fresh start to a complicated, often tense relationship.

U.S. President Barack Obama and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, began their informal talks at the Sunnylands estate near Los Angeles. It was the first meeting between the two leaders since Mr. Xi took office.

Mr. Obama expressed hope the two countries will work together on various issues, including cybersecurity. Recent reports have accused China-based operations of stealing U.S. military and commercial secrets through cyber espionage.

The Chinese leader expressed hope the two countries can build a new model of "big country" relations.

The two leaders are expected to address U.S. concerns about China's reported cyber attacks on the U.S. military and businesses, as well as China's concern about increased U.S. engagement in the Asia-Pacific region and demands for easier access to U.S. markets. North Korea's nuclear program is also expected to be high on the agenda.

North Korea depends heavily on China for aid and trade. Beijing maintains close ties with Pyongyang, but North Korea's belligerent rhetoric, a rocket launch and another nuclear test in the past year have strained China's patience. President Xi has called on North Korean leaders to return to nuclear disarmament talks.

The Chinese leader arrived in California Thursday after visits to Mexico, Costa Rica and Trinidad. Obama administration officials say the informal setting will allow for a more candid discussion.


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