The US' "pivot to Asia" marks a new phase in US-China relations, with opportunities outweighing challenges as China, Japan and South Korea undergo leadership changes, US President Barack Obama's national security adviser said on Monday.
Outlining China as a major "pillar" of the US' rebalancing policy, Thomas Donilon said the world's two biggest economies should continue building a "constructive relationship" and pointed to "substantial progress" the relationship has made in the four years Obama has been in office.
"The president places great importance on this relationship because there are few diplomatic, economic or security challenges in the world that can be addressed without China at the table and without a broad, productive and constructive relationship between our countries," Donilon told an Asia Society audience in New York City.
In a speech on Asia policy, Donilon said the administration is well-positioned to build on existing relationships with China's new leadership, headed by Party chief Xi Jinping.
"Taken together, China's leadership transition and the president's re-election mark a new phase in US-China relations — with new opportunities," said Donilon, who has served as Obama's top national security aide since October 2010.
The US and China, he said, should focus on improving the quality and quantity of cooperation while promoting "healthy economic competition".
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