China's Vice President Xi Jinping is warning the United States against a military build-up in Asia, ahead of his arrival in Washington Monday for a four-day visit.
Xi, who is expected to take charge of China's ruling Communist Party later this year, made the remark in a written response to questions submitted by The Washington Post newspaper. He said Asian countries long for peace and development, and do not want to see the United States scale up military deployments and strengthen military alliances in the region.
U.S. President Barack Obama has announced plans to “pivot” U.S. military power toward Asia even as it cuts back in other regions. The two leaders are scheduled to meet at the White House Tuesday.
Xi, who will likely succeed Hu Jintao as Chinese president next year, said there is “ample room” in the Pacific region for both countries and that China welcomes a constructive U.S. role in the region. He also urged Washington to respect the legitimate concerns of Asia-Pacific countries.
On economic matters, Xi said China will continue to address a number of legitimate U.S. concerns, including protection of intellectual property, China's currency exchange rate, and the establishment of a transparent, rule-based investment environment.
White House officials have said they expect the talks to cover political and human rights issues as well as security and economic matters.
Xi is scheduled to begin his formal talks with a two-hour meeting Tuesday with his formal host, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden.
He will also attend a lunch at the State Department hosted by Vice President Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Xi will also visit with military officials at the Defense Department and then hold talks with American and Chinese business leaders.
On Wednesday, Xi is due to travel to the midwestern state of Iowa and then to California before returning to China.