BEIJING — In his first meeting with any foreign official as China’s new president, Xi Jinping discussed trade issues with U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew on Tuesday, underlining the importance of U.S.-Chinese economic ties.
Both men stuck largely to boilerplate diplomacy in the short portion of the meeting that was open to the media, emphasizing shared interests rather than differences.
“I can say we have a seamless connection,” Xi said at the top of the meeting.
But in private, according to U.S. officials, Xi and Lew discussed the increasingly thorny points of contention between the two countries, including cyberattacks, China’s currency valuation and intellectual property laws.
The 45-minute meeting in Beijing came during the first trip abroad for Lew since he took up his new post. In an e-mailed statement afterward, a U.S. official who was not authorized to speak by name described Lew as “candid and direct in his comments.” The meeting also covered North Korea, the global economy and Europe, including Cyprus, the official said.