Foreign and Military Affairs

Statement maps out new era of cooperation

Updated: 2011-01-24 07:24

By He Wei (China Daily)

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Hu, Obama focus on advancing mutual interests, economic ties

BEIJING - President Hu Jintao's visit to the United States has charted a new course defining the nature of Sino-US relations in the coming decade, Chinese officials and experts say.

Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said at the close of Hu's busy four-day tour on Saturday that the visit was particularly fruitful and has opened a new chapter of cooperation between the two countries.

Noting the deep, complicated changes in the international situation, Yang underscored the importance of Hu's frank, in-depth talks with US President Barack Obama, and he hailed the consensus reached on bilateral relations and a host of major regional and global issues.

The minister said the joint statement issued during the visit was instrumental to reinforcing strategic trust between the two nations, which has been - and will remain - a key concern for Beijing and Washington.

The joint statement, in which Washington reaffirms its commitment to the one-China policy, reflects both nations' desire to improve understanding and reinforce trust. It outlines a package of exchange measures to help shore up that trust, Yang said.

The statement defines the nature of the bilateral ties as a "cooperative partnership based on mutual respect and mutual benefit", said Yuan Peng, an expert on US studies with the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations.

The term "cooperative partnership" is a milestone for this summit as "it provides a more solid footing for the positive, cooperative and comprehensive consensus on relations reached 14 months ago", Yuan said.

The new joint statement, while echoing that of 2009, addresses in greater depth mutual concerns, such as the US' welcoming of a strong, prosperous and successful China, and Beijing's recognition of Washington as a player in the Asia-Pacific.

China reaffirms its determination to work cooperatively with the US and meanwhile reiterates its core interests, said Jin Canrong, deputy director of the School of International Studies at Renmin University of China in Beijing.

Once there is an upbeat assessment of bilateral relations, it cannot be long before the two nations map out tangible steps toward cooperation, Jin said.

For instance, China and the US have vowed to pay closer attention to Pyongyang and Teheran's nuclear programs, Jin noted.

Additionally, more than 10 deals have been signed covering trade, investment, technology, energy, the environment, and other areas, showing the state visit's achievement in increasing economic ties.

Yang said the China-US partnership could not be built up without the strong support of mutually beneficial economic cooperation.

As neither the exchange rate of the yuan nor Washington's stimulus plans were explicitly highlighted in the talks, Jin said he believes both nations steered clear of irritating one another to achieve pragmatic economic reciprocity.

While some issues such as arms sales to Taiwan and a disparity on human rights remain unresolved, analysts said the visit has ushered in an era where both nations treat each other with sincerity and equality.

To move beyond tensions, Yang said, people-to-people exchanges are the basis and impetus of the development of ties between different countries, adding that sound China-US relations could not be guaranteed without the two peoples' mutual understanding and support.

"It is safe to say from the joint statement that both countries have agreed to take concrete steps to further people-to-people exchanges," Jin said.

This will give new momentum to Sino-US ties in the long run, said Yuan, since political trust and public diplomacy are mutually beneficial.

Xinhua contributed to this story.

China Daily

(China Daily 01/24/2011 page11)


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