China, U.S. discuss substantive issues as heavyweight Senate delegation visits Beijing

09:00, April 21, 2011      

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Leaders of China and the United States sought open communications on issues ranging from politics and diplomacy to clean energy and trade, as one of the largest and most senior U.S. congressional delegation came to Beijing Wednesday.

"It is a great pleasure for me to have an opportunity to meet 10 heavyweight U.S. Senators," China's Vice Premier Wang Qishan said at the start of an hour-long meeting with the delegation Wednesday afternoon.

The delegation was led by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and consisted of nine other senators.

"Such a formation alone reflected the weight you place on China-U.S. relations," Wang said.

Reid jested that "we may not have started this journey as heavyweights, but having spent two days in Hong Kong and Macao eating as we did, we are all heavyweights."

Vice premier underscored the importance China paid to the delegation as top Chinese legislator Wu Bangguo and Vice President Xi Jinping will have separate meetings with the delegation on Thursday.

"During meetings with Chinese officials, the group will discuss issues including clean energy, trade issues, currency, foreign policy," the delegation said in a statement issued on Monday.

"What we like to do is to have free-form conversation with you," Reid told Wang. "We will not all ask you questions. But we thought it would be appropriate if you allow us to ask a few questions."

Also present at the meeting was U.S. Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, who will conclude his term at the end of this month.

This was the last occasion for him to meet with Wang as U.S. ambassador to China, Huntsman said when shaking hands with Wang at the start of the meeting.

Reid hailed Huntsman's contribution, saying "We too are proud of the work the ambassador has done, someone who speaks fluent Chinese, someone he is representing so well."

The delegation will also travel to the cities of Chengdu and Xi'an in west China.

Source: Xinhua
 
 
     
 
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(Editor:张心意)

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