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Clinton flies in amid tension

By ZHANG YUNBI, WU JIAO and WANG CHENYAN (China Daily)

08:15, September 05, 2012

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in Beijing on Tuesday in a bid to ease tension over US involvement in territorial disputes and an increasing military presence in the region.

Clinton highlighted the importance of ties and future relations on her arrival.

Analysts cautioned that Washington should understand China’s legitimate territorial concerns and stop "meddling".

Analysts also said that the visit by Clinton, perhaps her last one to China if she honors her intention to step down In January, won’t achieve much if she focuses primarily on territorial disputes between China and its neighbors.

Clinton, on her second visit to China this year, met with Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi late on Tuesday night.

In recent years China and the US have witnessed a healthy, steady development of ties, which serves the interests of people in both nations and contributes to peace and stability of the Asia-Pacific region as well as the world, Yang said.

China vows to enhance the partnership based on "mutual respect, mutual benefit and win-win cooperation", Yang said.

Clinton focused on partnership with China.

"Washington continues to stress the importance of the practical cooperation that underlies our comprehensive relationship.

"We're committed to building a cooperative partnership with China, it is a key aspect of our rebalancing in the Asia-Pacific,’’ she said.

Dong Manyuan, deputy director of the Beijing-based China Institute of International Studies, said regional issues have accounted for a major part of Clinton’s workload.

"Recent friction and differing views over a series of issues in the region require high-level reconciliation," Dong said.

The trip highlights Washington's desire to seek more stable ties in the context of the presidential election, said Jin Canrong, an American studies professor at Renmin University of China.

She came at a time when observers in Beijing are increasingly concerned about US backing for some Asian countries that have rival claims with China in the South China Sea and East China Sea.

Clinton has just completed a visit to Indonesia, where she said Southeast Asian countries must present a united front to the Chinese in dealing with territorial disputes in the South China Sea.

Clinton’s suggestion runs counter to China's stance that one-on-one talks will be more conducive.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said on Tuesday that Washington has stated many times "it does not take sides".


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