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Hu Meets Bush, Discussing Trade, Taiwan, and Security
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US President George W. Bush, welcoming President Hu Jintao to the White House, said on Thursday his nation intends to "build a relationship that is candid and cooperative" with China.


President Hu, receiving a 21-gun welcome and a full military honor guard solute, reciprocated by talking to a massive audience of government officials from both countries that he has come "to enhance dialogue, expand common ground, deepen mutual trust and cooperation, and promote an all-around growth of constructive and cooperative China-US relations in the 21st century."


Hu emphasized in his address that Taiwan is an inalienable part of Chinese territory. And, Beijing will continue to make every effort and endeavor with every sincerity to strive for the prospect of peaceful reunification of the two sides across the Taiwan Straits.


"We will work with our Taiwan compatriots to promote the peaceful development of cross-Straits relations. However, we will never allow anyone to make Taiwan secede from China by any means," said the Chinese president.


Hu and his wife, Liu Yongqing, arrived at the White House in a limousine in bright spring sunshine, greeted by Bush and the First Lady Laura Bush. Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld were among the greeting team.


"The US and China are two nations divided by a vast ocean, yet connected through a global economy that has created opportunity for both our peoples," Bush said. "The US welcomes the emergence of a China that is peaceful and prosperous and that supports international institutions."


Bush said that as stakeholders in the international system, the two countries share many strategic interests. He noted that bilateral trade had grown to US$285 billion last year, with US exports to China rising a remarkable 21 percent.


He said that the US welcome China's commitments to increase domestic demand, to reform its pension system, to expand market access for US goods and services, to improve enforcement of intellectual property rights and to move toward a flexible market-based exchange rate for its currency, the yuan.


Bush also solicited help in his welcome address from China to "deepen our cooperation in addressing threats to global security," including the Iran and North Korea nuclear disputes.


He said that the countries will continue to cooperate to fight avian flu and other pandemic diseases, to cooperate to respond to natural disasters, to cooperate to develop alternatives to fossil fuels.


On Taiwan, the US president said that his country will maintains the one-China policy. "We oppose unilateral changes in the status quo in the Taiwan Straits by either side. We urge all parties to avoid confrontational or provocative acts. And we believe the future of Taiwan should be resolved peacefully," Bush said.


For his part, President Hu said that he wished to convey to the great American people the warm greetings and best wishes of the 1.3 billion Chinese people. He mentioned that in mid-19th century, several dozen thousand Chinese workers, working side by side with American workers and braving harsh conditions, built the great railway linking the east and the west of the American continent.


"In our common struggle against fascist aggression over 60 years ago, several thousand American soldiers lost their lives in battlefields in China. Their heroic sacrifice still remains fresh in the minds of the Chinese people," Hu said.


The Chinese president said Chinese people have much respect for American people. He said: "The Americans are optimistic, full of enterprise and drive, down-to-earth and innovative.


"In just over 200 years, they have turned the US into the most developed country in the world and made phenomenal achievements in economic development and science and technology."


Both China and the US are countries of significant influence in the world, Hu said. "Mutually beneficial and win-win China-US economic cooperation and trade benefit our two peoples and promote the economic growth in the Asia-Pacific region and the world at large. This has become an important foundation for China-US relations."


China is ready to continue to work with the US side and other parties concerned to peacefully resolve the Korean Peninsular and Iranian nuclear issues through diplomatic negotiation, to uphold the international nonproliferation regime and to safeguard global peace and stability, said Hu.


He said China will continue to pursue the strategy of boosting domestic demand and ensure fast and balanced economic development in China, and this will create more opportunities for China-US economic cooperation and trade. He promised that China will continue to advance the reform of the RMB exchange rate regime, take positive steps in such areas as expanding market access, increasing import, and strengthening the protection of intellectual property rights, and further expand China-US economic cooperation and trade.


(Chinadaily.com.cn April 21, 2006)


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