US President George W. Bush said on Wednesday that he looked forward to meeting President Hu Jintao later this year.
Bush made the statement during a meeting with visiting Chinese State Councillor Tang Jiaxuan in the White House.
Tang said the exchange of visits between the two leaders would help promote dialogue, mutual trust and co-operation between the two countries.
It is in the interests of both countries to further develop Sino-US relations and the visits would contribute to peace, stability and development in the Asia-Pacific region and the world, Tang said. He delivered a letter from Hu to Bush during the meeting.
Tang also met with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, US national security adviser Stephen Hadley and US Treasury Secretary John Snow on Wednesday.
In his meeting with Rice, Tang said the international situation and development of Sino-US relations have shown China and the US to have increasingly common interests. The two sides' constructive relationship would continue to grow as long as they increased dialogue, built mutual trust, promoted co-operation and handled differences properly, he said.
According to Tang the forthcoming visits will push forward the development of Sino-US relations.
It is in the interests of the two countries to oppose and contain "Taiwan independence" forces and maintain peace and stability in the Taiwan Straits, he added. He hoped that the US side would abide by the commitments it had made to China on the Taiwan question.
Rice confirmed that the US would continue to abide by the one-China policy.
In an address to the National Committee on US-China Relations and US-China Business Council the same day, Tang again called for appropriate handling of the Taiwan question. "It is the key to a stable and growing relationship between China and the United States," Tang said.
"We are ready to do our utmost with maximum sincerity to secure a peaceful reunification. But we will never put up with 'Taiwan independence' or allow any one to secede Taiwan from China by any means."
He noted that the Taiwan authorities have so far refused to recognize the "one-China" principle and "Taiwan independence" forces are still pushing their agenda of "constitutional reengineering," "name rectification" and other "de jure independence" activities, Tang said.
"Opposing `Taiwan independence' and maintaining peace and stability in the Straits serve the common interests of both China and the United States," he said.
Tang also called for sound growth of Sino-US economic co-operation
As to trade friction, the two sides should work out the problems through consultations and strive for a win-win result, he said.