China ready to deepen ties with US: Hu (Lead)

August 10th, 2008 - 6:34 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, Aug 10 (Xinhua) China is ready to work together with the US to deepen bilateral relations in a sustained manner, President Hu Jintao said here Sunday. During a meeting with his US counterpart George W. Bush, Hu said Beijing has always viewed and handled its relations with Washington from a long-term and strategic perspective.

Hu said China was willing to work with the US to promote dialogue and exchanges, enhance understanding and mutual trust, respect and care for each other’s interest and concerns, and settle sensitive issues properly to ensure bilateral relations go along the right track.

The Chinese president said frequent exchanges of dialogue between the two countries on various bilateral and international issues have been excellent. He cited the issues of North Korean nuclear issue, Iranian nuclear standoff and the Darfur issue to describe the fruitful discussions between the two nations.

Hu spoke highly of Bush’s contribution in promoting bilateral relations, and said he was very pleased to meet Bush again.

“This is already the fourth visit you pay to our country, which has made you the US president paying the the highest number of visits to China during his presidential terms,” Hu told Bush.

“This has fully demonstrated the great importance (the US) president has attached to the development of Sino-US relations,” he said.

The inauguration of the new US embassy in Beijing Friday, which President Bush attended, and the inauguration of the Chinese embassy in Washington at the end of last month, signified the further advancement of the China-US relations, said the Chinese president.

In response, Bush noted that bilateral relations with China were important, constructive and forthright, adding that the US would continue to work with China to build bilateral ties on a more solid foundation.

On the Taiwan issue, Hu reiterated China’s stance against “Taiwan independence”, and hoped the US to respect the country’s one-China policy.

“No matter what kind of changes take place in the cross-Strait relations, our stance of adhering to the one-China principle and opposing ‘Taiwan independence’ secessionist activities will never change, and cannot be changed,” Hu said.

President Bush responded that the US was glad to see the improvement of cross-Strait relations.

During the meeting, which was followed by a banquet, the US president said he enjoyed the conversation with Hu, and has had “memorable experience” every time he visited the country.

The Chinese president during his talks with Bush expressed sympathy over the tragic incident Saturday in which one American citizen was killed and the other injured.

“I would like to express my heartfelt sympathy to you and the family of the victims over this unfortunate incident,” said Hu.

A Chinese man Saturday stabbed to death US volleyball coach Hugh McCutcheon’s father-in-law Todd Bachman before committing suicide at a popular tourist place some five kilometres from the main Olympic site in Beijing.

Hu said that the Chinese side has paid great attention to this incident and he has personally instructed the Chinese Foreign Ministry to visit the injured American in hospital.

“We started investigation on this case immediately, and will handle it seriously in accordance with law. We will keep contact with the US side and inform you of the new developments,” said the Chinese president.

Earlier, the US president attended a church service and called for greater religious freedom.

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