World took a stand after 9/11: Locke

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China and the United States are partners in bringing peace and stability to Afghanistan and eradicating extremism, said Gary Locke, US Ambassador to Beijing.

"Countries all around the world have partnered in the last 10 years since Sept 11 to really take a stand against extremism and violence," Locke said on Friday, two days ahead the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks.

Locke addressed 400 students and faculty at Beijing Foreign Studies University (BFSU) and outlined his priorities for strengthening and expanding the US-China relationship during his tenure as ambassador.

It was his first public address to a Chinese audience since taking office on Aug 13.

"I begin my ambassadorship with confidence that the overall state of our relationship is strong," he said. "The US-China bond is one of the most important bilateral relationships in the world."

He said two sides have been increasing their cooperation and connections in every aspect possible.

He made a reference to US President Barack Obama's address to Congress on Thursday night, saying "the highest priority of the United States today is to create jobs for Americans and revitalize our economy".

"Given our economic interdependence, a stronger American economy is in the economic self-interest of the Chinese people," he added. "My top priority here in China is to carry out the policies that will support this effort."

Locke said his goals include doubling exports, increasing Chinese investment in the US and ensuring that US companies have a competitive environment in China.

China and the United States are not engaged in a zero-sum competition, where the failure of one means the rise of the other, Locke said.

"So many problems in the world today - from climate change, to poverty and disease - simply will not be solved without strong US-China cooperation. That's why I'd like to state unequivocally that the United States welcomes the rise of a prosperous and successful China that plays a greater role in world affairs," he said.

Mei Renyi, director of the American Studies Centre at BFSU, said the ambassador delivered a very safe speech that drew attention to every needed aspect.

"But as a former secretary of commerce, he is more focused on the bilateral economic ties and mentioned Obama's Congress stimulus address. They have to revitalize the US economy for the next year's election."

Gao Yuan and AP contributed to this story.

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