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Hu Jintao, Obama Meet the Press

On the morning of November 17, 2009, Chinese President Hu Jintao and U.S. President Barack Obama met journalists from home and abroad at the Great Hall of the People.

President Hu first addressed the press conference. He said that he had held very good talks with U.S. President Barack Obama. Both sides exchanged in-depth views on developing Sino-U.S. relations as well as major international and regional issues of common concern and reached broad consensus. He said his talks with Obama were "candid, constructive and fruitful."

Both Hu and President Obama agreed that enhanced international cooperation is essential as the international situation continues to undergo complex and profound changes with an increasing of global challenges and ever closer interdependence among world nations. Hu said under the new situation, China and the United States shared broad common interests and have great potential for future development on a series of major issues concerning peace and development of the mankind.

Hu said he and President Obama made positive comments on the development of China-U.S. relations since the new U.S. administration came into office. They agreed to improve dialogue, communication and cooperation from a strategic and far-sighted perspective and to make joint efforts in building a positive, cooperative and comprehensive Sino-U.S. relationship so as to promote global peace, stability and prosperity. Both sides will also take earnest measures to steadily establish a partnership in response to common challenges and make efforts for promoting world peace, stability and prosperity.

Both China and the United States believed that close high-level contacts and dialogues and consultations at other levels were of great importance to the two countries' relationship, he said. The two presidents agreed to keep close communication through visits, phone calls, letters and meetings at multilateral occasions, Hu said. The two leaders also spoke highly of the role of the strategic and economic dialogue mechanism in boosting mutual trust and cooperation between the two countries. China and the United States would continue implementing the agreements reached at the first round of the dialogue last July in Washington and will start preparations as soon as possible for the second round of the Sino-U.S. Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) next summer in Beijing, Hu said.

The two leaders exchanged views on the current global financial situation and held that despite the positive signs of the global economic recovery, the foundation of the global economic recovery was far from solid. Hu and Obama agreed to strengthen dialogue and cooperation on macro-economic policies, properly handle trade frictions through equal consultations and jointly ensure the bilateral economic and trade ties to develop in a healthy and steady way. "I stressed to President Obama that under the current situation, our two countries should oppose and resist protectionism in all forms in an even stronger stand," he said.

Hu said both China and the United States appreciated the key role of the G20 summit in coping with the global financial crisis. "China and the United States would work together with all other members to fully carry out the commitments of all G20 summits and continuously strengthen the role of G20 in the management of the global economy, while pushing forward international financial system reform and improving global economic order to guard against and cope with future crisis," Hu said.

The two presidents also agreed to improve cooperation in climate change, energy and environment. Hu said China and the United States would cooperate with all sides concerned, on the basis of the "common but differentiated responsibilities" principle and their respective capabilities to help produce positive results at next month's Copenhagen conference on climate change. China and the United States had signed documents of cooperation including a memorandum of understanding on enhancing cooperation on climate change, energy and the environment, and the two countries had formally launched a joint research center on clean energy, he said.

Hu said the two leaders also agreed to deepen cooperation on the basis of mutual benefits in areas such as anti-terrorism, law enforcement, science and technology, space exploration, civil aviation, high-speed railway, infrastructure, agriculture and health care. The two leaders agreed to continue to promote greater development in military relations, Hu said. Obama and Hu discussed to expand cultural exchanges between the two countries, especially youth exchanges, and supported both sides to set up a cultural exchange mechanism and strengthen cooperation on dispatching exchange students.

"Both of us remain committed to resolving the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula through dialogue and consultation," said Hu. "Such a commitment serves the common interests of China and the United States and all other parties concerned." Hu said China and the United States would work with other parties concerned to stick to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and the process of the six-party talks to safeguard peace and stability of northeast Asia. The two presidents stressed that it was very important for the stability in the Middle East and the Gulf Region to uphold the international nuclear non-proliferation regime and properly resolve the Iranian nuclear issue through dialogue and negotiation, Hu said.

Hu said the key to Sino-U.S. relationship was to mutually respect and accommodate each other's core interests and major concerns while divergences were normal as the two sides had different national conditions. He said that China appreciated President Obama's repeated reiteration on the adherence to the one-China policy, the abidance of the three Sino-U.S. Joint Communiqu├ęs and his respect for China's national sovereignty and territorial integrity on the Taiwan issue and other matters. Hu said the two sides had reaffirmed the "cardinal principle" of "mutually respecting national sovereignty and territorial integrity" and voiced opposition to any attempt by any force to violate this principle. "We have both agreed to conduct dialogues and exchanges on issues including human rights and religion, in the spirit of equality, mutual respect and non-interference in each other's internal affairs, so as to boost understanding, mitigate divergences and broaden consensus," Hu said.

"The Sino-U.S. relationship is very important. Maintaining and promoting the Sino-U.S. relationship is a shared responsibility of both sides," Hu said. "China is ready to work together with the United States to push forward the continuous, healthy and stable development of the Sino-U.S. relationship to better serve the two countries' peoples and peoples across the world," Hu said.

In his remarks, United States President Barack Obama first thanked for the warm hospitality extended to him by President Hu Jintao and the Chinese people.

Obama said the relationship between the United States and China has never been more important to their collective future. "The major challenges of the 21st Century, from climate change to nuclear proliferation to economic recovery, are challenges that touch both our nations and challenges that neither of our nations can solve by acting alone." That's why the United States welcomes China's efforts in playing a greater role on the world stage and the two heads of state have decided to establish a positive, cooperative and comprehensive relationship between the two countries in the 21st century, he said.

"China's partnership has proved critical in our efforts to pull ourselves out of the worst recession in generations," said Obama. The U.S.-China partnership has played an important role in coping with the crisis.

Obama said during their talks, both sides also made headway on the climate change issue. He noted there would be no solution to this global challenge without the joint efforts of both China and the United States.

Obama said his country appreciates China's positive efforts on the nuclear issue of the Korean Peninsula.

Obama said the United States respected the sovereignty and territorial integrity of China and had reaffirmed its strong commitment to the one-China policy. The United States recognizes Tibet as part of the territory of the People's Republic of China.

He said the relationship would face future disagreements and difficulties, but cooperation would result in both countries being more prosperous and secure.

Over 400 journalists from home and abroad attended the press conference which lasted about 40 minutes.


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