Chinese, US presidents meet on ties, Korean nuclear issue

Chinese President Hu Jintao said on Saturday that China and the United States have made progress in their constructive relationship of cooperation in the past four years and that China will work for the steady development of bilateral ties during US President George W. Bush's second term.

When meeting with Bush on the sidelines of the 12th Economic Leaders' Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, Hu noted that high-level dialogue and contacts at various levels have increased, with new progress in cooperation in such fields as economy, trade, law enforcement and the fight against terrorism, and that military exchanges have basically resumed.

Facts have demonstrated that the two countries share broad common interests and should cooperate in various fields for the benefit of the two peoples and the people of the world as a whole,Hu said.

The coming four years would be an important period for the development of Sino-US ties, Hu said, calling for efforts to maintain momentum in high-level exchanges and strengthen strategicdialogue.

Bush, for his part, said relations with China are among Washington's most important bilateral ties. China, as a great country developing constantly, is a source of stability, trade andeconomic development, he said.

The US president, re-elected early this month for another four-year term, said his country is willing to further strengthen ties with China and to step up consultations and coordination on major regional and international issues for a better world.

Both leaders are here to attend the two-day APEC meeting, whichkicked off Saturday in the Chilean capital.

APEC, as the premier forum for facilitating economic growth, cooperation, trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific region, was set up in 1989 in response to growing interdependence among Asia-Pacific economies.

During their meeting, Hu said China highly appreciates Washington's adherence to the "one China" policy and its opposition to "Taiwan independence."

China has always cherished the principles of "peaceful reunification" and "One country, Two systems" in solving the Taiwan issue, Hu stressed.

However, he said that China would never tolerate any attempt toseparate Taiwan from the motherland and that "Taiwan independence"is totally unacceptable.

"It will not only ruin peace across the Taiwan Straits but alsogravely wreck peace and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific," Hu said. "Both China and the United States should perceive the perils of ' Taiwan independence' from such a strategic height."

Bush said Washington understands the sensitivity of the Taiwan issue and that it will stick to the "one China" policy, abide by the three joint communiques, oppose any words or deeds to unilaterally alter the status quo and declare "independence," and give no inconsistent signals to Taiwan authorities.

Meanwhile, the two leaders agreed to resolve the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula through dialogue and peaceful means.

Hu told Bush that China is for a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula and a peaceful resolution of the nuclear issue through dialogue soas to maintain peace and stability on the peninsula.

The nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsular is complicated and all parties concerned should show patience, flexibility and sincerity in resolving this issue, Hu said.

China will continue close coordination and cooperation with allparties concerned to push for a new round of six-party talks at anearly date, the Chinese president said.

Bush said that the United States appreciates China's positive role in resolving the Korean nuclear issue, and that the United States would continue to advance the six-party talks for a peaceful solution of the problem.

The six-party talks involve China, the United States, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), South Korea, Japan and Russia. So far, three rounds of the talks have been held in Beijing.

Source: Xinhua

People's Daily Online ---