National Security Adviser Susan Rice met with Chinese President Xi Jinping for 45 minutes on Tuesday, concluding a three-day visit to Beijing that was billed as a preparatory mission for President Barack Obama’s visit to China in November but saw her pressing China to join a coalition to combat Islamic State insurgents in Syria and Iraq.
Rice also devoted part of her time in China to stressing ways to prevent mishaps involving Chinese and U.S. force in the East and South China seas, according to officials traveling with Rice who agreed to talk on background.
How the Chinese responded was difficult to know. While the administration officials agreed to speak anonymously about the talks, they declined to comment on what the Chinese said and only summarized their version of what Rice imparted to the Chinese.
The officials said Rice’s talk with Xi didn’t get into a lot of specifics but focused primarily on the importance of the U.S. relationship with China. But it’s clear the United States hopes the rise of the Islamic State will be an area where risk-averse China might be willing to join an international coalition to collectively combat terrorism.
During her talks, administration officials said Rice broached the topic of Hong Kong elections and human rights issues on the mainland. Officials declined to go into specifics but said “it was important for us to raise our support for universal suffrage in Hong Kong.”