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Print Edition> World
UPDATED: April 12, 2010 NO. 15 APRIL 15, 2010
Diplomatic Dynamics (15)

China and U.S.

Healthy and stable economic and trade relations between China and the United States serve the interests of both countries, Chinese President Hu Jintao said in a recent telephone conversation with U.S. President Barack Obama.

As uncertainties continue to shadow the global economy, both China and the United States need to sustain their economic recoveries while maintaining stable economic growth, Hu told Obama on April 2, a week ahead of his trip to Washington for the Nuclear Security Summit.

The Chinese President added that he hoped both sides can settle trade disputes through dialogue and consultation.

The phone conversation also came shortly after Beijing expressed its appreciation for Washington's "positive remarks" on Sino-U.S. relations.

Both countries will "take concrete actions to steadily build a partnership to address common challenges," Obama said three days earlier, while meeting with China's newly appointed Ambassador to the United States Zhang Yesui.

Mekong River Cooperation

China's hydropower projects along the upper reaches of the Mekong River are not responsible for the ongoing drought along the waterway, according to Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Song Tao.

The drought results from extreme weather conditions, and China is also a victim, he said at the First Mekong River Commission (MRC) Summit in Hua Hin, Thailand, on April 5.

The MRC consists of the four Southeast Asian countries that share the Mekong River—Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Viet Nam—with China and Myanmar being dialogue partners. The river, which originates in southwest China, is known to China as the Lancang River.

China uses water resources in the river as part of its efforts to alleviate poverty and promote social and economic development in the region, Song said. The construction of hydropower projects along the river also shows China's commitment to developing clean, renewable energy sources and addressing climate change.

"The Chinese Government has implemented a strategy of sustainable development while developing the water resources of the Lancang River," he said.

China, added Song, "seeks to strike a balance between development and conservation and coordinate its own interests with the interests of the downstream countries."

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