China-US goals outweigh conflicts

08:17, September 25, 2010      

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Premier Wen Jiabao speaks with US President Barack Obama before their bilateral meeting at the United Nations headquarters in New York on Thursday. (Susan Walsh / Associated Press)

The common interests of China and the United States far outweigh their differences, Premier Wen Jiabao said on Thursday during his meeting with US President Barack Obama.

The two-hour meeting between Wen and Obama on the sidelines of the general debate of 65th session of the United Nations General Assembly focused on regional and world issues, with a call for more cooperation.

The Chinese premier said his nation and the US can bolster joint efforts on significant international and regional affairs, as well as on global financial woes and climate change.

"China and the US have also embraced an even closer and stronger relationship in the fields of public finance, financial industry and economic cooperation and trade," said Wen.

The China-US relationship has advanced beyond the bilateral scope and has a major impact on the world, he said, adding: "Our common interests far outweigh our differences."

Although differences exist between the two countries, they can be solved through dialogue and cooperation, he said.

Wen expressed his hope that the US will recognize China's status as a full-market economy and loosen restrictions on its exports. He also reaffirmed China's unwavering determination to promote reform of the renminbi exchange rate mechanism and treatment of foreign firms, including those from the US.

China is ready to coordinate closely with the US, foster favorable conditions for President Hu Jintao's visit next year and push bilateral ties to a higher level, assured Wen.

Obama said his administration has established an active, cooperative and broad relationship with China, calling China an "outstanding partner".

"We have worked together on a whole range of issues. Obviously, one of the most important issues has been to deal with the financial crisis and the recession that (has) traveled around the world over the last several years," said the US president, adding that the G20 cooperation has been absolutely critical.

"In economic terms, it is important for us to have frank discussion and to work cooperatively to achieve a more balanced and sustainable economic growth," said Obama.

"We also have to work cooperatively together to achieve regional peace and stability" because the world looks to the relationship between China and the US as a critical ingredient on a range of security issues, he added.

Obama said the US welcomed China's renminbi exchange rate reform and encouraged firms from both countries to increase investment.

The US is willing to strengthen cooperation with China in the fields of energy and environmental protection and jointly find an effective way to radically improve their trade relationship, he said.

He also said that the US has confidence in overcoming its differences with China through dialogue, by deepening common interests and by developing a strong and cooperative relationship.

The US president said he expects to meet President Hu at the G20 and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summits this year and is looking forward to Hu's visit to the US next year.

Commenting on the meeting, Jamie Metzl, executive vice-president of the Asia Society, said the China-US relationship "is the most important bilateral relationship in the world" and "the two countries are deeply interdependent".

"Both need each other and it would be almost suicidal for either country to deny this," he told China Daily. "Whatever their differences, they must collaborate as much as possible and ensure differences are handled in a respectful and effective manner."

The dialogue at the UN added to the increasing number of meetings between Chinese and US leaders since Obama took office in 2009.

"This meeting, at which both countries had the opportunity to express their viewpoints and got to know each other more clearly, has a positive influence on Sino-US ties," said Tao Wenzhao, a researcher at the Institute of American Studies affiliated to the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. "The two countries admitted honestly that there are problems but these should not become obstacles to ties in the future."

"China must articulate and play a more active role in promoting a world order that benefits everyone," Metzl said. "The US has not been perfect in doing so during the past 65 years - far from it. But the US has taken the lead in building an international order where all states sacrifice some sovereignty for the greater good."

Believing that China can and must do better, Metzl added: "We all welcome China's growing power but with it comes new responsibility that all friends of China hope China will assume."

"China is one of the countries with the biggest economic growth and the US is the biggest economy in the world, so the cooperation between China and the US plays a central role in G20 summits," said Tao.

Wen arrived in New York on Tuesday evening and attended a series of UN meetings, including the Millennium Development Goals Summit and the general debate of the 65th session of the UN General Assembly.

Zhou Wa contributed to this story.

By Zhang Yuwei and Zhang Chunyan, China Daily

(Editor:梁军)

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