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Hu Jintao Holds Talks with US President Obama

On November 17, 2009, Chinese President Hu Jintao held talks in the Great Hall of the People with US President Barack Obama who was on a state visit to China. The two heads of state exchanged in-depth views on China-US relations as well as major international and regional issues of common concern and reached broad consensus. They agreed to make concerted efforts to build a positive, cooperative and comprehensive China-US relationship in the 21st century and take effective actions to establish a partnership to cope with common challenges.

Hu said that China-US relations, with the joint efforts of both sides, have had a good start since the inauguration of the new US administration and shown a positive momentum of development. The two leaders reached important consensus on joining hands to build a positive, cooperative and comprehensive China-US relationship in the 21st century. The two countries successfully held the first round of strategic economic dialogue, which greatly strengthened the bilateral strategic mutual trust and cooperation. We have worked with each other in addressing the international financial crisis, enhanced bilateral exchanges and cooperation in key areas, kept effective communication and coordination on many international and regional hotspot issues and global issues as well and opened up new prospects for our mutually beneficial cooperation. The military ties between the two countries have also been improved.

Hu noted that the international situation continues experiencing fundamental and complicated changes at present. Under new circumstances, China and the US hold broader common interest and enjoy wider cooperation prospects on the major issues related with peace and development of mankind and shoulder equally important responsibilities. In the new era, the strategic and global importance of China-US relations is on the rise. To develop the long-term friendly cooperation between China and the US in the spirit of mutual respect, equal treatment, mutual benefit and win-win cooperation serves the fundamental interest of the two countries and our people and will promote peace, stability and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region and the world at large. We should and are fully capable of going beyond differences and divisions to constantly enrich the strategic connotation of the positive, cooperative and comprehensive China-US relations in the 21st century and make relentless efforts to build a better future for mankind in the 21st century.

Obama first of all thanked the Chinese side for its hospitality, saying that a strong US-China partnership is beneficial to not only the two countries and their people but also to world prosperity. The two countries hold common interests in many key areas and the interests they have in common are far greater than their differences and divisions. The bilateral cooperation is beneficial not only to the US and China but also to the entire world. The US expects to further develop the bilateral ties based on the progress achieved over the past 30 years and make joint efforts with China to promote world economic growth and prosperity and address global issues.

Hu proposed five important points of view on further promoting the development of China-US relations:

First, make continuous efforts to increase strategic mutual trust. Trust and cooperation are the only workable way of handling inter-state relations in the new era. The world has entered into the epoch of interdependence. The two countries should look at the world, at each other and at China-US relations from a new perspective. China’s development means opportunity instead of challenge or threat to all the other countries including the US. China and the US should not be a rival to each other. On the contrary, they should become partners with mutual trust and sincere cooperation. To respect the core interest and major concern of each other is the precondition of building strategic mutual trust between the two countries. China appreciates the indication of the US of adherence to the one-China policy, observance of the three joint communiqués, respect for China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity on Taiwan and other questions and refraining from supporting any activity aiming at splitting China. We hope that the US side understands and supports related position and concerns of the Chinese government, properly handles the Taiwan question and refuses to allow “Tibet independence” and “East Turkistan” separatist forces to use the US territory to engage in anti-China separatist activities.

Second, maintain close high-level interactions and different levels of dialogue and consultation. Both sides should continue to maintain timely communication and consultation on the major concerns of each other through various channels such as exchange of visit, dialogue, communication and meeting at multilateral occasions. The China-US strategic and economic dialogue mechanism has become an important platform of strengthening the bilateral exchanges and cooperation. We should continue to implement the outcomes of the first round of strategic and economic dialogue and make early preparations for the second round to be held in Beijing next summer.

Third, strengthen coordination on macroeconomic and financial policies. It is necessary for the two sides to reinforce cooperation on coordinating macroeconomic and financial policies, advancing reform of international financial system and improving global economic governance so as to play a bigger role in boosting the complete recovery and long-term growth of world economy. Under the current situation, the two countries should take a more resolute attitude to oppose and resist various forms of protectionism and appropriately resolve the bilateral economic and trade frictions through consultations on an equal footing. China hopes the US to relax limitation on the export of new-tech products to China, recognize China’s market economy status, provide facilitation for the businesses of both sides to expand trade and investment cooperation and promote the healthy and stable development of bilateral economic and trade relations in a more active manner.

Fourth, continue to boost bilateral exchanges and cooperation in various fields. The two countries should continue to push forward the comprehensive exchanges and cooperation based on the achievements to date. China is willing to cooperate with the US in such fields as space exploration and high-speed railway infrastructure construction. Both sides should jointly implement such cooperation documents as the MOU on Strengthening Cooperation on Climate Change, Energy and Environment, take the opportunity of the official inauguration of China-US clean energy joint research center to deepen cooperation on energy saving and emission reduction, new energy, renewable energy, clean energy, energy efficiency improvement and environmental governance and make such cooperation a new bright spot of bilateral relations. We have reached consensus on strengthening cultural and educational cooperation and student exchange. China welcomes the 100,000 students whom the US will send to China in the next 4 years and hopes related agencies of both sides accelerate consultations on relevant arrangements. China is willing to strengthen anti-terrorism cooperation with the US based on the principle of mutual benefit and conduct dialogue on human rights and religious issues on the basis of equality, mutual respect and non-interference into each other’s internal affairs in order to enhance understanding, reduce differences and broaden consensus.

Fifth, jointly cope with regional and global challenges. In recent years, China and the US have conducted close coordination and cooperation on regional hotspot issues and various global issues including climate change, nuclear security and non-proliferation, fighting cross-border crimes, disaster reduction and prevention and cross-nation infectious disease prevention and treatment, which has significantly raised the strategic importance and global influence of bilateral ties. The two sides should continue to strengthen communication, coordination and cooperation and work together to maintain regional peace and stability and promote world peace and development.

Obama expressed full agreement on the five points of Hu on further strengthening the bilateral relations. He noted that the 21st century is different from the 20th century and today it is necessary to have international cooperation to cope with global challenges. Inter-state relations should not be a zero-sum game and countries should move beyond the Cold War mentality. The current US government, which is quite different from its predecessors in foreign policy, supports dialogues between nations and multilateral cooperation. The US does not seek to contain China, but welcomes a strong, prosperous and successful China with a bigger role in international affairs. The contacts between the two countries are very important to increasing trust and understanding and serve the interests of both. US and China should enhance dialogue and consultation and engage in effective cooperation on economic, security, regional and global issues. Non-governmental exchanges should be encouraged to increase the understanding between the US and Chinese people. The two countries should strengthen coordination of macroeconomic policies and create sound conditions for the recovery and growth of world economy. The US supports China in playing a big part in international financial institutions. It is willing to solve trade frictions with China in a constructive way, jointly fight protectionism and pave the way for the balanced development of world economy. To jointly address global issues is critical to US-China cooperation. The US expects to strengthen cooperation with China in the field of nuclear non-proliferation.

He stressed that concerning the Taiwan question the US recognizes and respects China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and has no intention of interfering in China’s core interests. The US reiterates adherence to the one-China policy and three US-China joint communiqués and supports the improvement of relations across the Taiwan Straits. The US will firmly pursue the one-China policy which will remain unchanged.

Talking about climate change, Hu said that climate change is a serious challenge faced by mankind. The Copenhagen Conference is very important to the cooperation of international community on climate change. The outcome document of the Copenhagen Conference should adhere to the basic principles of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and its Kyoto Protocol, especially the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, follow the direction established by “Bali Roadmap” for international cooperation on climate change, reflect the latest progress of negotiations and principled consensus and provide proper political guidance for the next stage of negotiations. China is willing to work with the US to participate in the international negotiations on climate change in a positive and constructive attitude, make contributions to promote positive results out of the Copenhagen Conference and play due part of tackling climate change. Obama said that the US attaches great importance to strengthening cooperation with China on climate change and hopes the two sides work closely to promote the success of the Copenhagen Conference.

Concerning the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, Hu noted that the goal of the Chinese side on the issue is consistent and clear. At present, the situation on the Peninsula tends to relax. Parties concerned should seize the opportunity to push the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue back to the sound track of seeking settlement through dialogue and consultation. It is hoped that relevant parties make best use of the opportunity to create conditions for the early resumption of six-party talks. Obama said that the US appreciates the important role of China in resolving the issue and is willing to make joint efforts with China to realize the denuclearization of the Peninsula and resume the six-party talks as soon as possible.

As to the Iranian nuclear issue, Obama said that the US appreciates the efforts of China to resolve the issue. Hu stressed that parties concerned should seize the favorable opportunity to intensify diplomatic efforts and maintain and push forward the dialogue and negotiation process.

The two leaders also exchanged opinions on the South Asian situation and the Darfur issue of Sudan.

Following the meeting, they jointly met the press.

Prior to the talks, Hu held a grand welcome ceremony for Obama.

Chinese participants at the ceremony include Vice Chairman of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee Lu Yongxiang, State Councilor Dai Bingguo, Vice Chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference Tung Chee-hwa, Vice Chairman of the Central Committee of the China Association for Promoting Democracy Liu Xincheng, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, Director of the National Development and Reform Commission Zhang Ping, Minister of Education Yuan Guiren, Minister of Finance Xie Xuren, Minister of Commerce Chen Deming, Chinese Ambassador to the US Zhou Wenzhong, Vice Foreign Minister He Yafei and Director of President Hu Jintao's Office Liu Shiju.

US participants at the ceremony include Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke, Energy Secretary Steven Chu, Trade Representative Ron Kirk and Permanent Representative to the United Nations Susan E. Rice.



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