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US-China relations key to any US administration
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Wendy Johnson, an African-American lady who attended 44th U.S. President Barack Obama's inauguration ceremony in Washington on Tuesday, said U.S.-China relations are so important for both countries that all "smart" leaders will value the ties.

Johnson, whose teenage son and daughter are learning Mandarin Chinese, said the new U.S. president should give an even stronger boost to U.S.-China ties.

"Keeping a great relationship with each other is a good thing for us," she said. "Obama is such a smart president, he knows pretty well how to continue the relations with China."

More than 1 million Americans from across the country and tourists from around the world showed up at the grand ceremony in the capital to watch Obama become the first African-American president in U.S. history.

"Can you find any other bilateral tie more important than U.S.-China relations?" asked Johnson, who encouraged her son and daughter to start studying Mandarin Chinese when they were little as she firmly believed that the new century "will be nothing without the participation of China."

Jane Martin, who traveled with her family all the way from Missouri to be part of a "historic event that the family must witness," said no matter who becomes U.S. president, he cannot afford to ignore U.S.-China relations.

"We have a new era and have to build partnerships around the vision that China and the United States could work together to solve many economic problems," Washington resident Glen Moren told Xinhua shortly after Obama's inauguration speech.

Meanwhile, the president of the New York-based Greater China Corporation, John Allen, said Obama will "definitely" give top priority to bilateral relations once he assumes office.

"Take our business relations for example. No one dares to risk hurting the ties," he said, adding that any damage to relations will hurt the two economies.

"Developing diplomatic relations must serve the aim of making the lives of the two peoples even better, so in any case, all clever leaders should value the relations."

China and the United States forged diplomatic ties 30 years ago. The relations, in former U.S. secretary of state Dr. Henry Kissinger's words, are becoming better with each passing year, although problems emerge sometimes.

"Our two countries are binding together so tightly just because we share many common interests," said Gon Kevin, while hurrying to join the inauguration parade following the ceremony.

Kevin said his life was "at least 80 percent related to China" as the shoes, hat, coat and gloves he was wearing were all made in China.

"I love China just because the Chinese are hard working people who are making this world more colorful," he said.

Kevin, who traveled from Florida to watch the "historic" event, said it was unnecessary to give special care to bilateral relations "as they are already mature" and the president has more important domestic matters on his agenda.

"He should fix the U.S. economy first, which is his top priority," Kevin said. If the country's economic problems are solved properly, relations with China would become even stronger because "bilateral economic interests are closely interwoven with each other," he said.

(Xinhua News Agency January 21, 2009)

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