BEIJING (AP) — Common interests between China and the United States "far outweigh" the countries' differences, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said Thursday, sounding a cordial note following a minor spat over President Barack Obama's recent meeting with the Dalai Lama.
Li told reporters that the two nations could do much more to further "unleash the potential" of bilateral cooperation and build on their already massive $520 billion in annual bilateral trade.
He cited a Chinese saying that "wise people will seek common interests, while the unwise will focus on their differences."
"Common interests between China and the United States far outweigh their differences," Li said at a news conference after the close of the annual meeting of the country's legislature. "China and the United States need to focus more on common ground in pursuit of long-term benefits."
Li did not mention Obama's meeting late last month with the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, whom Beijing denounces as a separatist. The meeting prompted swift and vehement protests from China.
Relations between China and the U.S. have been stable in recent months despite tensions between Beijing and American allies in the region, especially Japan and the Philippines.