Visiting Chinese President Hu Jintao on Friday urged both China and the United States to promote their cooperation, saying their "closer cooperation serves the fundamental interests of the two countries and the peoples."
Giving a speech at Yale University, Hu said China and the United States are both countries of vast territory where many ethnic groups co-exist and different cultures intermingle.
"Due to different historical backgrounds and national conditions, there are differences between China and the US. But this enables us to learn from each other and draw on each other's strength," he said.
The Chinese president said closer cooperation between the two countries "is also of far-reaching significance for peace and development of the whole world."
He said the world has continued to undergo profound changes after entering the 21st century. "Peace and development remain the calling of our times," while factors causing instability and uncertainty are increasing and new challenges and threats are looming, he said.
"Against this backdrop, the common interests between our two countries are increasing and the areas of our cooperation widening," he told the audience, noting that the global peace and security now face new challenges such as fighting international terrorism, preventing the environment and human habitat and combating transnational crimes.
He said it is exactly in these fields that China and the United States share important strategic interests.
"China has a huge market and its development has generated strong demand, while the United States has advanced technology and high quality products. This has created enormous opportunities for economic and technical cooperation between our two countries," he said.
"When we focused on the overall interest of China-US relations, respect and show understanding to each other, I am confident that our relations will move ahead in a healthy and steady manner and contribute to the well-being of our two peoples and bring greater hope to people around the world," said the Chinese president who arrived the Yale campus for a brief visit on Friday morning from Washington.
Talking about culture and civilization in the world, Hu said all civilization in human history have contributed to human progress in their own unique way.
"Culture diversity is a basic feature of both human society and today's world and an important driving force for human progress," he said.
"Differences in ideology, social system and development model should not stand in the way of exchanges among civilization, still less should they become excuses for mutual confrontation.
"We should uphold the diversity of the world, enhance dialogue and interaction between civilization, and draw on each other's strength instead of practicing mutual exclusion," he stated.
Talking about Yale, the Chinese president said his host is a forerunner in conducting China-US educational exchanges and provides an important platform for cultural exchange between China and the United States.
"Exchanges in culture and education and among young people serve as a bridge for increasing mutual understanding between our two peoples," he said.
At the end of his speech, Hu used an old Chinese saying which goes "as in the Yangtze River where the waves behind drive on those before, so a new generation always excels the last one" to encourage the young people.
"I sincerely hope that the young people in China and the United States will join hands and work to enhance friendship between our two peoples, and together with people of other countries, create a better world for all," he concluded.
(Xinhua News Agency April 22, 2006)