As Xi holds two-day summit with Obama, residents of desert oasis extend warm welcome

By Zhi Linfei (Xinhua)

15:14, June 08, 2013

RANCHO MIRAGE, United States, June 7 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping started a two-day summit with his U.S. counterpart, Barack Obama, here on Friday, in a welcome move for residents in this desert-turned oasis town.

Xi, who arrived Thursday at the invitation of Obama after his visits to Tinidad and Tobago, Costa Rica and Mexico, on Friday held talks and had a working dinner with Obama at the Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands, California.

The two leaders will meet again on Saturday.

The summit is the first face-to-face meeting between the presidents of China and the United States since the two countries completed their latest leadership transitions.

The meetings focus mainly on forging a new type of relations between major countries to break the zero-sum curse for an established power and a rising one.

For many local residents, the visit by the leader of the most populous country is welcome because it provides a rare opportunity for the local community to gain worldwide attention and perhaps generate more businesses.

"China and the United States have a good relationship. I'm glad he (Xi) is visiting," said Mark Davis, a local restaurant owner.

Davis told Xinhua that he believed Xi's visit "will absolutely benefit the local area" as it helps bring worldwide attention to the cities on the desert oasis, which is very different from the rest of the United States.

Though the two countries have differences in many areas, which are common as different nations tend to have different cultures, they can resolve their differences through talks and exchanges, David said, adding that he expected more Chinese tourists to visit here.

The area, which comprises a group of small cities including Palm Springs, Cathedral City, Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage, and Indian Wells, has been magically turned from a barren desert into an oasis and an ideal winter vacation heaven after 70 years of development.

Green-covered golf courses dot the area where a number of celebrities live or build vacation homes, including former presidents, top government officials, sports and Hollywood stars.

The Sunnylands estate, built by former publishing tycoon Walter Annenberg, is famous for hosting several U.S. presidents and many world-famous foreign leaders.

Angie Dominques, a resident of 12 years, learned about the news of President Xi's visit by listening to the radio broadcast and reading the Los Angeles Times.

"I think it's very good that the Chinese president is visiting here and that President Obama is going to sit down and talk with him," Dominques, a realtor, told Xinhua.

For Gayle Kesselman, a psychiatric from New Jersey, said if she could have the chance of meeting the Chinese president, she would extend a warm welcome to him.

Kesselman said that, despite many issues in the U.S.-China relationship, it is desirable that the two sides sit down and discuss ways of resolving them.

"It takes two to talk and solve problems," she told Xinhua.

This was echoed by Obama, who said before holding the summit with Xi that "continuous, candid and constructive conversation and communication is critically important to shaping our relationship for the years to come."

Email|Print|Comments(Editor:ZhangQian、Yao Chun)

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