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President Hu Jintao and President Bush Meet
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On the sidelines of the G8 St. Petersburg summit Chinese President Hu Jintao met on Sunday with the US President George W. Bush. 

According to Chinese officials the two leaders exchanged views on a wide range of issues which included Sino-US relations, the Iranian nuclear situation, the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue and the Middle East crisis.

Hu, who arrived in St. Petersburg to attend the outreach session of the G8 summit, said that recently Sino-US relations had seen steady development and the consensus on promoting constructive cooperative ties was being implemented step by step.

China was willing to join with the US to work on bilateral ties from a strategic and long-term perspective, said Hu.

He said China was willing to make joint efforts with the US to enhance cooperation in trade and economic development, energy, military affairs, counter-terrorism, non-proliferation, respect each other's concerns and properly handle the sensitive issues related to bilateral ties.

Bush said that Hu's visit to the US in April this year had been fruitful.

The US attached great importance to relations between the two countries, he said. The US was willing to enhance bilateral cooperation and promote its relations with China. 

Hu said China would continue to adopt measures to increase imports from the US, tighten the protection of intellectual property rights and actively push forward the reform of the RMB exchange rate system.

He urged the US to properly handle China's concerns on bilateral trade and economic cooperation, relax its limitations on high-tech exports to China and create a fair environment for Chinese enterprises to trade and invest in America.

Bush said the US valued the pledges made on market access and protection of intellectual property rights and that China's economic growth was beneficial to US businesses wishing to expand their export markets.

He reiterated the US adherence to the one-China policy and opposition to any unilateral action which was directed towards "Taiwan independence."

Appreciating this stance, Hu said he hoped the US would be more explicit in opposing and containing the separatist activities aimed at "Taiwan independence."

The two leaders also discussed the Iranian nuclear issue. Hu said China was against proliferation of nuclear weapons and held that the issue should be properly resolved through diplomacy and negotiation.

What was important was a quick resumption of negotiations, said Hu. He added that China would continue to play a constructive role in resolving the issue through peaceful means.

Bush said the US agreed to resolve the Iranian nuclear issue through diplomacy and in a peaceful manner. He urged Iran to respond to the initiative tabled by the six countries quickly. 

In June this year the US, China, Britain, France, Russia and Germany offered Iran a package of incentives in a bid to resolve the nuclear subject. But so far Iran has made no official response to the proposal. 

On the Korean Peninsula nuclear question Hu said the key to resolving the issue was to resume the six-party talks rapidly. 

Hu said China would remain committed to maintaining peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula, push forward the process of the six-party talks, make efforts to realize the goal of making the Peninsula free of nuclear weapons through peaceful means by way of dialogue and negotiation.

Bush said the US hoped for a peaceful solution to the issue and called for quick resumption of the six-party talks. 

On the Middle East, Hu said China was greatly concerned with the turbulent situation in the region urging those involved to show restraint, not to take action which might lead to the deterioration of affairs and to cooperate with the international community in efforts to find a solution to the crisis. Hu called for a re-launching of the "roadmap" process. 

Bush said the international community should make efforts to prevent matters from running out of control. Speaking to the media after the meeting, Hu described his talks with Bush as friendly and candid.

Hu said enhancing consultation and coordination on major international and regional issues was in the interests of both countries and of vital importance to world peace and stability. 

(Xinhua News Agency July 17, 2006)

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