Bush says US-China relations important

US President George W. Bush said in Beijing Sunday that the China-US relationship was important and his current China visit would help further cement it.

"The relationship between China and the United States is an important relationship. This trip will make it stronger," Bush said in a brief meeting with the press together with Chinese President Hu Jintao after their official talks.

Describing China as an important trade partner of the United States, Bush said the two countries share many common opportunities and challenges in the 21st century.

On the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, Bush said both the United States and China seek a Korean Peninsula that is stable with peace and free of nuclear weapons.

He thanked China for its leading role in the six-party talks.

"The fourth round of the six-party talks in September ended with a joint statement, in which North Korea promised to abandon all nuclear weapons and all existing nuclear programs," Bush said. "The United States expects them to honor their commitment."

He expressed "the deepest condolence" to China on the death of Chinese citizens in the terrorist attack in Amman, Jordan.

"Terrorism is a threat to both of our two countries. We welcome China's cooperation in the war against terrorism," the US president said.

Bush highlighted economic cooperation between the United States and China, saying that the two countries would continue their joint efforts in the areas of market access and the protection of intellectual property rights.

The United States would continue to cooperate with China to realize the commitment China made in July to establish a flexible market-based currency system.

On July 21, the People's Bank of China, China's central bank, announced that China's currency, the yuan, would be traded at a rate of 8.11 yuan for one US dollar and the yuan to US dollar pegging system was switched to a basket of foreign currencies.

Bush said he and Hu also had good talks about energy. "China is a growing economy and China recognizes, like the United States recognizes, in order to keep our economies growing in the years to come, we've got to share technology and diversify away from hydrocarbons," he said.

According to him, it is important that social, political and religious freedom grows in China. "We encourage China to continue making the historic transition to a greater freedom," he said.

The United States and China were working together for the prevention and control of bird flu, said Bush, who also appreciated China's role in this field.

Bush arrived in Beijing Saturday evening. This is the third time he comes to China as US president.

Source: Xinhua

People's Daily Online --- http://english.people.com.cn/