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China, U.S. Underscore Common Interests, Agree to Control Differences

Chinese President Xi Jinping said on September 3 China and the United State have far more common interests than differences and hoped bilateral ties stay on the right track.

In a meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama in the eastern city of Hangzhou on the eve of a G20 summit, Xi said cooperation between China and the United States can lead to "great things" that are conducive to both countries and to the world at large.

He said the two countries should follow the principles of non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation, deepen mutual trust and collaboration, and manage and control their differences in a constructive manner, in order to push forward the continuous, sound and stable development of bilateral ties.

A statement from China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the two leaders compared notes on Sino-U.S. relations and on major international and regional issues of mutual concerns in a "candid, in-depth and friendly manner," with a series of "important consensus" reached between the duo.

Noting it was in Hangzhou 44 years ago that the normalization of Sino-U.S. ties broke the ice, Xi also spoke highly of his previous meetings with Obama since 2013.

In particular, the building of a new type of major-country relations between China and the United States has witnessed substantial progress over the past three years, he said.

Two-way trade, investment and personnel exchanges are at historical highs, and both countries have worked together in combating climate change, advancing negotiations on a bilateral investment treaty, and establishing a mutual trust mechanism between the two militaries.

Important progress was also made in fighting cyber crimes, coping with the Ebola epidemic in Africa, and facilitating a comprehensive agreement on the Iranian nuclear issue, Xi said.

"All these have showcased the strategic importance and global influence of Sino-U.S. relations," the Chinese president said.

Underpinning Cooperation

With the G20 Hangzhou summit set to convene on September 4, Xi said China appreciates the U.S. side's cooperation and support for its hosting of the summit.

He said holding a successful summit is the international community's shared expectation, as well as the due responsibility of China and the United States as the world's two largest economies.

China hopes to work with the United States and other parties to achieve fruitful results during the summit to inject momentum to the world economy while lifting confidence, he said.

On the economic front, Xi said China's fundamentals for long-term economic growth remain sound, and that the country will adhere to the macroeconomic policy of making progress while maintaining stability, and firmly advance the supply-side structural reform.

He told Obama that China will stick to the direction of opening up and reform, and further facilitate foreign investment access.

China welcomes foreign enterprises to invest in the country, and will continue to provide them with favorable business environment, Xi said, calling for efforts to reach a reciprocal and win-win bilateral investment treaty as soon as possible.

Noting that China and the United States handed over their instruments of joining the Paris Agreement separately to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on September 3 in Hangzhou, Xi said the two countries have made important contributions again to address the global challenge of climate change.

Xi said both countries should expand cooperation in fields such as energy conservation and emission reduction, clean energy, and intelligent power grid, among others.

They should also continue to actively expand practical collaboration between their militaries and local authorities, and in areas of counter corruption, law enforcement, cyber security, culture and UN peacekeeping, he said.

For his part, Obama said the United States welcomes China's contribution to global development and the peacekeeping cause.

The two countries took the lead in ratifying and accepting the Paris Agreement on climate change, demonstrating again the influence of the cooperation between the two countries, Obama said.

Washington hopes to build stronger trade and investment ties with China, and make joint efforts with China on a wider range of fields, including regional and global security, he said.

Controlling Differences

Aside from strengthening cooperation, Xi and Obama also agreed to manage and control differences between their two countries in a constructive manner.

On the issue of Taiwan, Xi said China will resolutely safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity, and curb "Taiwan independence" activities in all forms.

China will make great efforts to maintain the peaceful development of relations across the Taiwan Straits and seek peaceful reunification of the nation.

He urged the United States to honor its commitment to the one-China policy, the principle of the three joint communiques, and safeguard peaceful development of cross-Straits ties and the overall interests of Sino-U.S. cooperation with actual deeds.

The Chinese president also voiced hopes the United States will honor its commitment in Tibet-related issues, and not support secessionist activities by "Tibet independence" forces.

China opposes any other country interfering in its internal affairs in the name of human rights issues, Xi continued. The country attaches great importance to the protection and promotion of human rights, and ensures its citizens' freedom of religious belief according to law.

The achievements of China's human rights cause are obvious to all, he said, adding China is willing to carry out dialogues and communication on human rights issues with other countries on the basis of equality and mutual respect.

Obama, meanwhile, said the United States opposes all attempts aimed at seeking "Taiwan independence," and reaffirmed that Tibet belongs to China.

He said the United States and China should make sure that both countries could carry out fruitful cooperation in fields with common interests, while working to control differences in spheres where disagreements remain, so as not to impact bilateral ties.

He said he is willing to work with President Xi in laying down a sound foundation for the future of U.S.-China ties.

Regional Issues

Both sides exchanged views on other major international and regional issues.

They agreed the two countries share extensive common interests in the Asian-Pacific region, and should continue to reinforce communication and cooperation to properly manage and control differences.

They also agreed to reinforce coordination and cooperation on regional hot topics and global challenges to promote the proper resolution of related issues together with the international community and play positive roles in promoting world peace, stability and prosperity.

Talking on the South China Sea issue, Xi urged the United States to "play a constructive role" in maintaining peace and stability in the region.

He said China will continue to unswervingly safeguard its territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests in the South China Sea.

In the meantime, China will stick to peaceful settlement of disputes through consultation and negotiation with parties directly concerned, and safeguard peace and stability in the South China Sea along with ASEAN members, Xi said.

As to the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, Xi said China has been committed to denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula, safeguarding peace and stability of the peninsula, and solving relevant issues through dialogue and consultation.

All parties should refrain from any act that could escalate regional tension and collectively make positive efforts to put the situation back on the right track.

He said China opposes the deployment of the anti-missile system of Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) in the Republic of Korea, while asking the United States to respect China's strategic security interests.

(Xinhua News Agency September 3, 2016)

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