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Stable Development of Sino-US Relations in 2005
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The relationship between China and the United States has demonstrated a trend of stable development in 2005, with frequent exchanges of high-level visits and contacts, Chinese ambassador to the United States Zhou Wenzhong said on Saturday.

Chinese President Hu Jintao and his US counterpart George W. Bush met several times in 2005 and the two leaders exchanged views on bilateral relations as well as major international and regional issues of common concern, Zhou said in an exclusive interview with Xinhua.

In particular, the two leaders agreed at their meetings in New York in September and during Bush's China visit in November to strengthen mutual understanding, broaden consensus, enhance mutual trust and push forward the all-round development of the Sino-US constructive relationship of cooperation in the 21st century, he said.

Government departments of the two countries are implementing the consensus reached by the two leaders, and the two sides have had effective dialogues, consultation and cooperation in a wide range of issues, such as economy and trade, anti-terrorism, law enforcement, nuclear non-proliferation, energy, environmental protection, Iraq and the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula, he said.

Moreover, the two sides held candid, in-depth and constructive discussions on international situation, bilateral relations and other issues of common concern during the two rounds of strategic dialogues between the two countries in 2005, which helped strengthen mutual understanding and broaden consensus, the ambassador noted.

Zhou noted that exchanges between legislatures of the two countries were deepened and bilateral military relations also made headway in 2005, which contributed to the overall development of the Sino-US constructive relationship of cooperation.

On the Taiwan issue, Zhou said that handling the Taiwan issue properly is key to a stable development of the China-US relationship.

"The Taiwan issue, which concerns China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, is always the most important and sensitive core issue in the China-US relations," Zhou said.

Although there are signs of relaxation and positive elements in the current cross-strait relations, Zhou said, the authorities in Taiwan have still refused to recognize the one-China principle and the Taiwan secessionist forces have continued their separatist activities.

There still exist the root that threatens the cross-strait peace and stability and impedes the development of the cross-strait relations, the ambassador added.

"We appreciate the reaffirmation made by President Bush and his administration that the United States adheres to the one-China policy, abides by the three Sino-US joint communiques and opposes 'Taiwan independence'," Zhou said.

He also said China hopes that the United States strictly sticks to the commitments it has made to China and works with China to oppose and contain the "Taiwan independence" so as to safeguard peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits.

Looking to the year ahead, Zhou saw broad space for the continuous development of the Sino-US relationship, though he also cautioned that there will be a few challenges.

Leaders of the two countries will continue to exchange views and visits and will meet on some very important international occasions, he said.

President Hu had accepted an invitation from Bush during his China visit in November to visit the United States as soon as possible, and a visit by the Chinese leader to the United States is of great importance and will strengthen bilateral exchanges, confidence-building and cooperation between the two nations as well as further the Sino-US constructive relationship of cooperation, said the ambassador.

Zhou noted that China and the United States, both with great influence in the world, share ever-growing common interests while having differences.

Historical and contemporary experiences show that only by adhering to the three joint communiques, viewing bilateral ties from strategic and long-term perspectives, and by practicing mutual respect and equality and addressing each other's concerns, can the Sino-U.S. relationship develop in a sound and stable way, he said.

A sound and ever-growing Sino-US relationship is not only in the fundamental interests of the two countries, but also beneficial to peace, stability and development in the Asia-Pacific region and the world as a whole, he said.

(Xinhua News Agency January 1, 2006)

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