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Chinese FM lists guidelines for China-US ties in new era

VISITING Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi yesterday proposed some major guidelines for China and the United States to promote sound and steady growth of bilateral relations in the new era.

Speaking at a luncheon meeting at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Yang expressed satisfaction that the two countries have worked together and ensured a smooth transition of bilateral relations in the past 50 days since the new US administration took office.

The two sides have established good working relations at the top level and between various government departments and maintained close consultation and coordination in bilateral and multilateral areas, he said.

"A good beginning is half the success," Yang said, noting that this good start has laid the groundwork for the further growth of China-US relations.

"We should now set our sight on the longer term and draw up a good blueprint for China-US relations in the coming years. We should make concerted efforts and promote sound and steady growth of our relations," he said.

To do this, the minister proposed some guidelines which he believed could help advance China-US relations in the coming years.

First, he said, both sides should adopt a strategic and long-term perspective and keep the relations on the right track.

China and the United States now have more common interests and a broader foundation of cooperation on a series of major and pressing issues facing today's world, according to the minister. The strategic significance and global influence of China-US relations have further increased and their relations in the new era should be broader and deeper.

The minister believed that the two countries should work together in an all-around way to raise bilateral relations to a new and much higher level of cooperation in the 21st century on the basis of mutual respect, seeking common ground while shelving differences and cooperation for win-win results.

Second, Minister Yang said, both sides should maintain close dialogue and exchanges at the top and other levels and cement the political foundation of the relations.

Over the years, he said, close communication and frequent exchanges between the two countries "have given a strong boost to the sustained, sound and steady growth of our relations."

He hoped that both sides will work together and launch proposed "China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogues" mechanism at an early date so that through continued discussions on strategic, overarching and long-term issues of mutual interest, they will further enhance mutual trust and cooperation.

Third, according to the minister, both sides should expand mutually-beneficial cooperation and inject fresh impetus into the relations.
The priority for China and the United States at the moment, Yang said, is to tackle the international financial crisis through intensified cooperation and work together to maintain and promote world financial and economic stability.

He said China and the United States share important common interests with respect to climate change, energy and the environment and have broader prospects to cooperate in such fields as counter-terrorism, nonproliferation, military-to-military relations, science and technology, culture and health.

The fourth guideline, he believed, is that both sides should respect and accommodate each other's core interests and make every effort to minimize potential disruption and damage to the relations.

The minister urged the US side to handle Taiwan-related issues prudently and properly and respect the Chinese people's position of upholding state sovereignty and territorial integrity on equal sensitive issues related to Tibet.

For the fifth, Minister Yang said that both sides should promote dialogue and exchanges between people of the two countries and build stronger public support for the relations.

"We will not forget that the ice in China-US relations began to thaw with the mutual visits of our pingpong teams," he said.

"The tremendous progress made in our relations over the last 30years would not have been possible without the active involvement and support of people from all walks of life in both countries," he added.

"It is of particular importance to look ahead to the future and vigorously promote and support exchanges and cooperation between the young people, so that the cause of China-US friendship will endure and prosper further, the minister stressed. Yang is here on a five-day working visit as a guest of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.


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