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Core interests at heart of new US ties (3)

By Li Xiaokun and Zhang Yunbi (China Daily)

08:27, March 20, 2013

"The (US) president is firmly committed to building a relationship of growing strength," Lew told Xi.

Obama wants healthy competition with China and will properly handle disputes, he said.

"I can say we have a seamless connection," Xi said, referring to the two new top financial officials from both sides attending the meeting.

A US official told agencies that the 45-minute meeting, which Lew said was "candid and direct", covered issues including currencies, intellectual property, cybersecurity and North Korea. It also touched upon the situation in Cyprus, which is the subject of a controversial EU bailout.

Both Xi and Lew agreed on the importance of the China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue in bilateral ties.

Also on Tuesday, Lew met Xu Shaoshi, head of the National and Development Reform Commission.

During his two-day trip, Lew was also due to meet Premier Li Keqiang.

Jin Canrong, a professor of international relations at Renmin University of China in Beijing, said Washington's quick arrangement of the visit signals its expectations of Beijing's new leadership.

The trip will also pave the way for future development of ties, Jin added.

US Secretary of State John Kerry and General Martin Dempsey, Obama's top military adviser as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will also visit China in April.

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