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Hu Jintao Meets with His U.S. Counterpart Obama

On November 12, 2011, Chinese President Hu Jintao met with his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama in Honolulu, Hawaii. The two heads of state exchanged views on bilateral ties as well as international and regional issues of common concern in a candid, in-depth manner and reached consensus. They agreed to work together to continuously push forward the China-U.S. cooperative partnership.

Hu said, since President Obama took office nearly three years ago, China-U.S. mutual understanding and exchanges and cooperation have reached unprecedented breadth and depth with the joint efforts of both sides. In January, the two heads of state reached consensus on the building of China-U.S. cooperative partnership in Washington and bilateral relations have entered a new stage of development. Since then, Sino-U.S. exchanges and cooperation have made new progress in many areas.

Hu said that currently, mankind is facing a more pressing task of development and more severe challenges. Strengthening cooperation is the sole right choice China and the United States, as two big powers, could make. "Developing the China-U.S. cooperative partnership based on mutual respect and mutual benefit is a major decision that China and the United States made in accordance to their common interests, responsibilities and strategic judgment," Hu said. He said the two countries should earnestly strengthen their cooperative partnership and strive to maintain a stable growth momentum of their bilateral ties. "It is in the fundamental interests of the peoples of the two countries and conducive to the peace, stability and development of the world," Hu added.

The Chinese president noted that China-U.S. relations have entered another critical period. He said both sides should proceed from a strategic height and long-term perspective and promote cooperation at bilateral, regional and global levels, to achieve more substantial results and ensure the steady development of China-U.S. ties in the future. Hu also made a three-point proposal on advancing China-U.S. relations. First, he said, China and the U.S. should become cooperative partners that respect and trust each other. The two nations should strengthen exchanges of high-level visits, dialogues and consultations at all levels and in various areas, Hu said. They should judge each other's strategic intentions and policy directions in an objective and rational way, Hu said, while continuously enhancing strategic mutual trust. Efforts should also be made to promote people-to-people exchanges between the two countries and entourage friendly exchanges at local levels so as to enhance mutual understanding and friendship between the two peoples, Hu said. Respecting each other's core interests is the key to the bilateral cooperative partnership, the Chinese president said, adding that China hopes the U.S. could properly handle the relevant issues in strict accordance with the principles set forth in the three China-U.S. joint communiques. Secondly, China and the U.S. should forge a mutually beneficial and reciprocal cooperative partnership, he said. Both nations should focus on exchanges and seek mutual benefit, win-win results and common development. Both sides should give full play to their complementary advantages, strengthen economic and technological interaction and facilitate cooperation between the enterprises of both countries. They should also actively explore new paths and expand new areas of bilateral economic and trade cooperation and try to solve problems through equal consultations in the process of expanding mutually beneficial cooperation, Hu said. Thirdly, China and the U.S. should become cooperative partners "in the same boat" and pull together in times of trouble. The two nations need to join hands to deal with the current global economic situation, play a constructive role, boost market confidence and support the common goal of promoting growth and ensuring stability, Hu said. Both countries, the Chinese president said, should also make full use of bilateral channels and multilateral mechanisms to enhance coordination in dealing with such hotspot issues as the situation on the Korean Peninsula and Iran's nuclear issue and global issues including climate change, terrorism, food security, pandemics and natural disasters, in a bid to safeguard world peace and promote global development.

On the exchange rate of the Chinese yuan, Hu said China's exchange rate policy is responsible, adding that the policy goal is to ensure a market-based and managed floating exchange rate system that takes reference to a basket of currencies. China will continue to steadily reform the RMB exchange rate formation mechanism. Hu stressed that the Chinese exchange rate is not to blame for structural problems in the U.S., such as the trade deficit and high unemployment rate. Even an abrupt appreciation of the renminbi could not solve the problems that America faces now, Hu said. Meanwhile, Hu urged the U.S. to adopt concrete measures to relax high-tech export controls to China, and to offer conveniences for Chinese companies that invest in the U.S.

Hu said bilateral coordination and cooperation in global and regional affairs is an important pillar of the China-U.S. cooperative partnership, and Asian-Pacific affairs should become the focus of their cooperation. China respects the legitimate interests of the U.S. in the Asia-Pacific region, and welcomes it to play a constructive role in the region, Hu said. The Chinese president hoped that the U.S. should respect China's legitimate regional interests and properly handle issues related to each other's interests and concerns in a bid to jointly promote peace, mutual trust and cooperation in the region.

For his part, Obama said since Hu's successful state visit to the U.S. in January, U.S.-China relations have remained stable and made progress. He said that strengthening cooperation between the U.S. and China is vital for the two countries, the Asia Pacific region and the world at large. Obama said the U.S. will work with China to continue to expand their cooperative partnership based on mutual respect and mutual benefit in a constructive way. He said the U.S. welcomes a stronger, successful, prosperous and stable China to play an even greater role in international affairs. He emphasized that the U.S. respects the legitimate interests of China in the Asia Pacific region. Obama said the U.S. respects the sovereignty of China, and is glad to see continuous progress made in cross-Strait relations. The U.S. supports stability and reconciliation in cross-Strait relations. The U.S. will continue to pursue the one-China policy based on the three China-U.S. joint communiques, and does not support "Taiwan independence."

Obama also said the U.S. values the efforts made by China in pushing forward bilateral trade and economic ties. He said U.S.-China trade and economic cooperation has been continuously deepening as two-way trade and investment have reached record highs. He said the two countries are also playing a more and more important role in promoting global economic growth. Obama said the U.S. is ready to maintain close consultations with China and work with other countries to overcome the current difficulties in the world economy and push for strong, sustainable and balanced economic growth around the world.

The two heads of state also exchanged views on the situation on the Korean Peninsula, Iran's nuclear issue and other issues.

Prior to the talks, they jointly met the press.

Ling Jihua, Wang Huning and Dai Bingguo attended the meeting.

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