China, US hold candid talks at first-ever strategic dialogue

Beijing, Aug 2 | Updated: Aug 3 2005, 05:30am hrs
China and the US had candid and in-depth exchange of views on a range of bilateral, regional and international issues of common concern at their first-ever strategic dialogue here, the state media reported on Tuesday.

At the closed-door dialogue co-chaired by Chinese vice foreign minister Dai Bingguo and the US deputy secretary of state Robert Zoellick, the two sides agreed to increase co-operation and constructive relations.

During a full day of discussions, both sides exchanged views in a candid and in-depth manner, the Chinese foreign ministry said.

The US and China agreed the dialogue was helpful and constructive in improving mutual understanding.

The two sides reiterated that the long-term, healthy and stable development of Sino-US relations is in the interests of both nations and peoples, China Daily reported.

Maintaining and expanding co-operation between China and the US is of great significance to promoting peace, stability and development of the Asia-Pacific region and the world both at present and in the future, it said.

Zoellick is another important member of the Bush administration to visit China within a month, following the US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, trade representative Rob Portman, secretary of commerce Carlos Gutierrez and secretary of agriculture Mike Johanns.

The two countries would actively implement the consensus reached between their leaders and push forward their constructive relations and co-operation by increasing dialogue, building mutual trust, and handling differences properly. The US and China also agreed to hold a second strategic dialogue soon.

The first dialogue came as a result of the consensus reached between Chinese President Hu Jintao and the US President George W Bush during the Asia-Pacific economic co-operation (APEC) summit in Chile last year. The dialogues may take place twice a year.

China and the US have agreed to continue their consultations to seek a solution to textile trade disputes.

The annual session of the joint committee on commerce and trade was held on July 11 in Beijing, but ended without an agreement.

The two sides agreed to set up co-operation mechanisms on cross border prosecutions for intellectual property rights violations and on the protection of copyrights for movies.

Zoellick said the discussions with Chinese officials would enable the two countries to get a better sense of one anothers interests: where there are points of mutuality - and I believe there are many; how to work co-operatively; but also, where we have differences, how best to try to manage them.

The strategic dialogue coincides with the fourth round of six-party talks on the North Korean nuclear issue now under way in beijing, a sensitive issue on which Washington is banking on Beijings leverage with Pyongyang to renounce its nuclear assets.

PTI