Chinese, U.S. presidents meet on ties, major issues

SEOUL, March 26 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Hu Jintao and his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama met Monday to discuss bilateral ties and major regional and global issues of common concern.

During the talks on the sidelines of the Seoul Nuclear Security Summit, Hu said the world situation is continuing to witness profound and complex changes and that the world economy is still facing many unstable and uncertain factors.

Safeguarding the China-U.S. cooperative partnership is not only beneficial to the interests of the two countries and peoples, but also has significant influence on world peace, stability and prosperity, he said.

Hu said the two countries should enhance dialogues, exchanges and cooperation and respect each other's core interests and properly handle divergences and sensitive issues so as to push forward the Sino-U.S. relationship on the right course.

The Chinese president put forward a four-point proposal on the further development of China-U.S. ties.

First, he called for efforts to push forward the cooperative partnership between China and the United States.

Second, the two countries should expand and deepen economic and trade ties by strengthening mutually beneficial and win-win practical cooperation in various fields, he said.

Third, China and the United States should have positive interactions in the Asian-Pacific region, Hu said. China respects the existence and legitimate interests of the United States in the region and welcomes the constructive role of Washington in regional affairs. China hopes that the U.S. side will fully address and respect China's interests, said Hu. The two sides should strengthen communication and dialogues to try to realize a win-win situation. he said.

Fourth, Hu called for efforts to give impetus to bilateral relations by adopting more flexible measures to ensure timely and high-quality strategic communication between leaders of the two countries.

China-U.S. economic and trade cooperation is by essence mutually beneficial, said Hu.

Economic and trade frictions were emerging in the context of ever expanding and ever deepening mutually beneficial cooperation, he said. And therefore, these frictions should be solved step by step in the process of cooperation and by means of cooperation, he said.

The lift of a U.S. ban on high-tech exports to China will be helpful in expanding overall U.S. exports to China, in stimulating U.S. economic development and in balancing China-U.S. trade, he noted.

Hu expressed the hope that Washington will adopt concrete measures in this regard.

On China's currency exchange regime, Hu noted that the RMB has appreciated by 30 percent since 2005 when China initiated reform of the exchange rate formation mechanism.

He said the structural problems of the U.S. economy, such as the trade imbalances and high unemployment, were not caused by China's exchange rate regime. The further appreciation of the Chinese currency would not solve these problems, he said.

China will continue to carry forward the reform of its exchange rate formation mechanism, said Hu. The market will be allowed to play a bigger role and the currency would fluctuate within a bigger margin so as to maintain the stability of the RMB on a balanced and rational basis.

For his part, Obama said the fact that he has met Hu 11 times since he took office reflects the importance both sides attach to U.S.-China relations.

In recent years, he said, the two countries have enhanced mutual trust, deepened cooperation and handled differences and frictions effectively through various mechanisms. The United States is happy with the positive results, he said.

Washington is looking forward to strengthening dialogues, coordination and cooperation with Beijing on bilateral issues and major regional and global affairs to promote the U.S.-China cooperative partnership, which is important to the two countries and the world as a whole, Obama said.

Last month, the two countries marked the 40th anniversary of former U.S. President Richard Nixon's visit to China, he noted. The U.S. side is ready to work with China to build a better bilateral relationship in the next 40 years, he said.

Obama said the release of a fact sheet on strengthening U.S.-China economic relations proved that the two sides could achieve more in their economic and trade relations through contacts and dialogues.

The U.S. government is starting to address the issue of restrictions on high-tech exports to China, sid Obama. The U.S. side would also like to see more Chinese investments in U.S. infrastructure and other sectors and would take measures to facilitate those investments, he said.

The two leaders also exchanged views on the planned launch of a satellite by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the current situation on the Korean Peninsula.

Hu said China is concerned and worried about the latest development on the Korean Peninsula, and calls upon all parties concerned to exercise calm and restraint and to properly solve related issues through diplomatic and peaceful means so as to maintain peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asia. Such a solution conforms to the interests of all parties concerned, said Hu.

China has made unremitting efforts to help realize the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and to maintain peace and stability on the peninsula, he added.

China hopes the United States and the DPRK will keep contacts and dialogues and honor the consensus reached between them, so as to improve their relations, said Hu.

China is willing to maintain close consultation and coordination with all parties concerned, and play a constructive role in safeguarding regional peace and stability, said the Chinese president.

Hu and Obama also held talks on Iran's nuclear program, the Syrian crisis, and relations between Sudan and South Sudan.

Hu arrived in Seoul on Sunday for the Nuclear Security Summit, which is aimed at strengthening international cooperation on nuclear security.

Hu will travel to New Delhi for a meeting of BRICS -- Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. After the meeting, he will visit Cambodia.


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