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President speaks at UN climate summit, meets U.S., South African presidents
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Chinese President Hu Jintao on Tuesday spoke at the opening session of the UN climate summit and met his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama and South African counterpart Jacob Zuma on the sidelines of the UN climate summit and other meetings.

Addressing the opening session of the UN climate summit, President Hu said that the international community should tackle global climate change through common development, calling for international joint work and pledging China's continued efforts on this issue.

"Global climate change has a profound impact on the existence and development of mankind and is a major challenge facing all countries," the president said.

"Climate change is an environment issue, but also, and more importantly, a development issue...We should and can only advance efforts to address climate change in the course of development and meet the challenge through common development," he said.

Hu also highlighted four principles needed for a successful concerted effort to deal with climate change worldwide, namely fulfilling respective responsibilities, achieving mutual benefit and a win-win outcome, promoting common development and ensuring financing and technology.

Hu also announced four measures that China will adopt to further integrate actions on climate change into its economic and social development plan.

The measures include intensifying efforts to conserve energy and improve energy efficiency, developing renewable energy and nuclear energy, increasing forest carbon sink and forest coverage as well as stepping up effort to develop green economy, low-carbon economy and circular economy, and enhance research, development and dissemination of climate-friendly technologies.

Meeting President Obama on the sidelines of the UN meetings, President Hu said that China-U.S. relations are now showing a sound momentum of development, and the two countries are developing a positive, cooperative and comprehensive relationship.

A sound China-U.S. relationship is not only in the interests of the two countries, but also conducive to peace, stability and prosperity in the Asia Pacific region and the world at large, Hu said.

Hu expressed the willingness to work with the U.S. side to deepen cooperation in various fields. He hoped both sides would properly handle problems in bilateral ties so as to push forward the relations.

Obama said he is committed to building a positive, cooperative and comprehensive relationship between the two countries. He expressed the willingness to further advance the cooperative relations.

This has been their second meeting this year since April 1 when they met in London during a Group of 20 summit on the global financial crisis.

During their London meeting, Hu and Obama agreed to work together to build a positive, cooperative and comprehensive relationship in the 21st century.

President Hu also met in New York his South African counterpart Jacob Zuma, and the two leaders agreed to deepen bilateral relations and boost cooperation in various fields.

During his meeting with Zuma, Hu said relations between China and South Africa have enjoyed comprehensive and rapid development since the two countries established diplomatic ties in 1998.

The two nations have maintained close coordination and cooperation in international and regional affairs, and China and South Africa have become important strategic partners, he said.

The two sides have rendered support to each other on issues concerning their major interests, and have strengthened consultation and cooperation on international and regional issues like the global financial crisis and climate change, he said.

The countries have made efforts to tap the potential for economic and trade cooperation, actively promoted bilateral trade and investment, and supported each other in their respective fight against the impact of the financial crisis, Hu said.

Both China and South Africa are important developing countries, and to further consolidate and develop relations between the two countries conforms to the fundamental interests of the two nations and two peoples, and is beneficial to the promotion of cooperation between China and South Africa and among other developing countries, he said.

Under the new circumstances, the Chinese side is ready to continue to work with South Africa to establish close high-level contacts, expand economic and trade cooperation, enrich cultural exchanges, boost cooperation in multilateral areas, deepen the China-South Africa strategic partnership, and to realize the common development of both countries, he said.

China welcomes South Africa's participation in the 2010 Shanghai World Expo, which is scheduled to open in May 2010, and wishes the 2010 FIFA World Cup to be hosted by South Africa a success, said the Chinese president.

The president said that China has always attached importance to Africa, and to enhance its solidarity and cooperation with African countries has always been a key pillar in China's foreign policy.

Against the backdrop of the global financial crisis, China's confidence in and determination of developing friendly cooperation with African countries have not changed, and China will not reduce its aid to Africa, Hu said.

China is willing to strengthen communication and conduct close cooperation with African countries, including South Africa, to ensure the fourth ministerial conference of the Forum of China-Africa Cooperation, which is to be held in Egypt in November, a success, so as to push forward China-Africa cooperation to a higher level, he said.

On climate change, Hu said both China and South Africa advocate that the international community should follow the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities to jointly tackle the global issue.

For his part, Zuma fully agreed with the Chinese president on his views on bilateral relations. Zuma said the bilateral relationship was of strategic significance.

The South African president said the two countries enjoyed wide-ranging common interests on major issues, and South Africa was willing to further develop its relations with China.

South Africa will play an active role in promoting China-Africa relations, and will take part in the 2010 Shanghai World Expo, Zuma said.

The Chinese president arrived here Monday for the UN climate change summit and other UN meetings. He will also travel to Pittsburgh for the G20 summit scheduled for Thursday and Friday.

(Xinhua News Agency September 23, 2009)

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