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Yang Jiechi Holds Talks with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (03/12/09)

On the afternoon of March 11, local time, Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and his U.S. counterpart Hillary Clinton held talks in Washington. Both sides had an in-depth exchange of views on bilateral relations and international and regional issues of common concern and reached several agreements.

Yang said that the China-U.S. relationship is facing a major opportunity of development at a new starting point and the two countries share extensive interests and shoulder important responsibilities for world peace, stability and development. The Chinese minister said both sides should, taking the overall situation into consideration with a long-term perspective, work earnestly to implement the important consensus reached between Chinese President Hu Jintao and U.S. President Barack Obama. The two sides should promote dialogues, exchanges and cooperation in a wide range of areas in accordance with the principles of mutual respect, seeking common ground while maintaining differences, and win-win cooperation, to push bilateral relations forward in a sound and stable manner, Yang added.

Clinton said the United States and China should cultivate a positive and cooperative relationship, which is of vital importance not only to the benefit of both peoples but to the world peace and prosperity as well. She said the U.S. side is willing to work with the Chinese side to deepen and expand cooperation and keep providing impetus for the growth of bilateral relations.

The minister and the secretary agreed to maintain close contacts at high and other levels. Both believed that the proposed meeting between President Hu and President Obama at the financial summit scheduled for early April in London is of great significance to China-U.S. ties at a new phase and the two sides should work together to make elaborated preparation to ensure the success of the meeting.

Yang and Clinton also discussed and agreed on the detailed arrangement on forming a mechanism of China-U.S. Strategic and Economic Dialogue.

Both sides coordinated their positions on the Group of 20 (G20) summit to be held in London in early April. Yang and Clinton agreed that the two countries will make joint efforts to ensure a positive outcome from the summit. Both believed that efforts to combat the financial crisis should be a major area of cooperation between the two countries in the future. They agreed that both sides should continue to strengthen dialogue and coordination on macro-economic policies. They also agreed to work together to oppose protectionism in various forms, deepen cooperation in economy, trade and investment, and play their due roles in stabilizing the international financial situation and promoting reform of the international financial system and institutions in a bid to facilitate an early recovery of the world economy.

As to the Taiwan issue, Yang briefed Clinton of the recent developments in cross-Straits relations. He reiterated China's principled position on the issue and expressed hope that the U.S. side will keep its relevant promises, handle the issue properly and with caution, and support the peaceful development of cross-Straits relations with concrete actions.

Clinton, for her part, said that the U.S. side firmly supports the one-China policy. She welcomed and expressed support for the peaceful development of cross-Straits relations.

Yang also reaffirmed the principled position of the Chinese government on Tibet-related issues, expressing the Chinese side's resolute opposition and strong indignation over some recent statements made by the U.S. administration and over the adoption by the U.S. House of Representatives of a resolution on Tibet introduced by a handful of anti-China U.S. congressmen. The minister stressed that the Tibet issue is vital to China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, urging the U.S. side to respect China's position and concerns on the issue and take effective steps to clear up any negative ramifications of the wrong words and deeds by the U.S. side. Yang urged the U.S. side to stop meddling in China's internal affairs through the Tibet issue.

Both sides agreed to further expand exchanges and cooperation in a wide range of areas including economy, trade, counter-terrorism, anti-proliferation, law enforcement, energy, environment, climate change, science, education, culture and public health. They pledged to continue increasing military exchanges and hold within the year a new round of China-U.S. counter-terrorism consultation, departmental-level consultation on arms control and anti-proliferation and vice ministerial-level consultation on strategic security, multilateral arms control and anti-proliferation. They also agreed to hold a new round of human rights dialogue as soon as possible based on equality and mutual respect.

Yang also elaborated on China's principled position and concerns over the U.S. navy vessel's surveying activities in China's exclusive economic zone.

Both sides exchanged views on the situation of the Korean Peninsula. Minister Yang hoped that all parties concerned maintain calm and restraint, making joint efforts to promote the process of six-party talks and safeguard peace and stability on the peninsula. Secretary Clinton said that the goal of a nuclear-free peninsula is indispensable, adding that the U.S. side hopes that the six-party talks could continue to proceed forward.

Both sides also exchanged views on Afghanistan, stability in South Asia, the nuclear issue of Iran, the Middle East peace process and the Darfur issue in Sudan. They agreed that the two foreign ministries should maintain close communications and coordination on international and regional issues and work together to pursue proper solutions to hotspot issues concerned.



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