The Chinese leadership and the US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice both voiced a commitment on Sunday to continue developing bilateral ties, calling for the resolution of current disputes in a mutually respectful manner.
President Hu Jintao said China and the US share wide-ranging common interests and shoulder important responsibilities, and they can realize a mutually beneficial results through cooperation. Constructive and cooperative ties should be pushed to a higher level.
He said that sound, steady and continuous development of Sino-US relations is in the fundamental interest of both countries and their peoples, and is important for the promotion of regional and world peace, stability and prosperity.
Premier Wen Jiabao recognized in his meeting with Rice that current China-US relations are in a generally good form, and could be furthered with a strategic and long-term perspective.
Wen said the two nations should take each other's concerns into consideration and handle disputes and conflicts in trade cooperation, noting that economic and trade cooperation is an important part of China-US relations and should be based on principles of equality, mutual benefit and development.
Rice said she came to Beijing soon after she assumed office in January with a hope to promote a "very strong relationship" with China, and the US hopes to see a confident and prosperous China and to deal with differences in a constructive manner.
Rice said the US government attaches great importance to growing and developing constructive and cooperative ties, and is ready to join hands with China in exploring new fields of cooperation and to further boost relations.
She said the US hopes to continue to consult with China, and that "such consultations are helpful for the Asian-Pacific region and the world at large."
Rice is on her first visit since she became the top US diplomat as guest of Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing. She met and exchanged views with Chinese leaders on US-China relations, the Taiwan issue, the Korean Peninsular nuclear issue and other areas of mutual interest.
On Taiwan, Hu said properly handling the issue remains key to the sound and steady development of Sino-US relations, calling for the US to "honor the commitments that President George W. Bush reiterated on adhering to the one-China policy, observing the three Sino-US joint communiqués and opposing 'Taiwan independence.'"
Hu hoped the US would "understand and support all efforts made by the Chinese government and people to safeguard China's sovereignty and territorial integrity and realize peaceful reunification," and that it would not "send any wrong signal to 'Taiwan independence' secessionist forces."
Wen explained that China's anti-secession law aims to curb these forces, expressing his hope that the US side understand, respect and support the legislation.
He said the secessionist activities of ‘Taiwan independence’ forces have posed the biggest threat to the peace and stability across the straits, and the law would help maintain peace and development in the Asian-Pacific region.
Rice said it conforms to US interests to maintain tranquility across the Taiwan Straits and solve the Taiwan issue peacefully, and the US will make efforts to that end.
She promised that the US government's position on pursuing the one-China policy and abiding by the three US-China joint communiqués will not change.
On the six-party talks about the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, Hu said China is willing to work with all concerned parties, including the US, to resume them at an early date.
Hu said China, while insisting that the Korean Peninsula should be nuclear weapons-free, is devoting itself to solving the issue through the six-party talks, and to safeguarding peace and stability there.
Rice spoke highly of China's important role in the progress of the talks and briefed Hu on US viewpoints on this matter. She reiterated that the US also regarded the six-party talks as the best way to solve the issue.
China and the US are playing pragmatic and prudent tunes in current bilateral relations, said Wang Jisi, a leading expert on Sino-US relations with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, in an interview with Xinhua.
Wang said China and the US share recognition and respect for each other's international status and strategic interests, and are making efforts to seek common ground, which "represents a more mature bilateral relationship," Wang said.
(Xinhua News Agency March 21, 2005)