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Bush says US-China ties important
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US President George W. Bush met with visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi in the oval office of the White House on Tuesday to exchange views on bilateral ties as well as international and regional issues of mutual concern.


The president said that he attaches great importance to US-China relationship, adding that his administration is willing to strengthen communications and cooperation with China.


Yang said that the Sino-US relationship has generally maintained a positive momentum of stable development. He said the Chinese side would work with the US side in firmly implementing the important consensus reached between Chinese President Hu Jintao and President Bush on the development of constructive and cooperative Sino-US relationship.


The Chinese minister said that both sides should also actively enhance exchanges, mutual trust and cooperation, and properly handle sensitive issues to promote the development of bilateral relationship in a sustained, sound and stable manner.


On the Taiwan issue, Yang said that Chen Shuibian, the leader of Taiwan, has sped up efforts to pursue "de jure independence" by pushing hard for a referendum to join the United Nations under the name of Taiwan, defying strong opposition from the international community.


China and the United States should make joint efforts, strengthen cooperation, and take practical steps to prevent any form of splittist activities designed for "the independence of Taiwan," including the referendum for U.N. membership, Yang said, adding that this is in the common interests of both China and the United States.


In response, President Bush reaffirmed US position that it opposes the push by the Taiwan authorities for a referendum on U.N. membership and any unilateral change in the status quo across the Taiwan Straits.


Yang flew in to attend an international Middle East conference which was held in Annapolis, Maryland, on Tuesday.


(Xinhua News Agency November 29, 2007)

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