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Bush: US Sees China as Economic Opportunity

US President George W. Bush said that he sees China as an economic opportunity and expects China to deal with world trade in a fair way.

"I think the relationship with China's a very complex relationship," Bush said at a White House press conference on May 31.

"On one hand, we ought to look at China as an economic opportunity," he said. "And the best way to deal with China is to say, 'Look, there are some rules, and we expect you to abide by the trade rules.'"

"And as (China) grows and as trade becomes more complex, you'll see more and more instances where the United States is insisting upon fair trade," Bush said. "We expect China to deal with the world trade in a fair way."

Bush spoke as his administration announced that two top officials -- US Trade Representative Rob Portman and Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez -- will visit Beijing for bilateral discussions on trade amid increasing trade frictions between the two countries.

The move comes as the European Union and United States impose curbs on textile imports from China, and in response, China scraps export tariffs on a range of textile products on June 1.

Textiles is one of several areas of contention between Beijing and Washington, which has also been pressing China to change its currency policy as well.

"China is a fascinating country that is significant in its size," Bush continued. "Its economy is still small, but growing."

Bush also said China "can be a very good partner in helping to secure the world.

"The best way to convince (North Korean leader) Kim Jong Il to get up and give up his weapons is to have more than one voice saying the same thing," Bush said.

"And therefore China is a partner in this case in terms of helping to secure that part of the world from nuclear weapons," he said.

"China, as well, can be helpful in the war on terror," Bush said. "They're just as concerned as we are on the war on terror."

(Chinadaily.com via agencies June 1, 2005)

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