CHINA / National

China, US to grapple with changing ties
Updated: 2006-04-17 09:19

More importantly, Hu will seek to dispel US fears of China's rising might, by reassuring Washington that Beijing is a responsible global partner.

"China believes mutual trust is lacking and that is at the root of tensions between the two countries, be it trade, military spending or human rights," said Tsinghua University analyst He Maochun.

"It believes the United States still views China from a Cold War perspective and that it sees China as a threat. China meanwhile is suspicious the US wants to contain China."

The United States for its part will urge Beijing to increase the value of its currency, further open its massive and lucrative market to US companies and products, and crack down on piracy to reduce its trade deficit, analysts said.

It would also request help from Beijing, one of five permanent members on the UN Security Council, to deal with international issues, including the nuclear standoffs with Iran and North Korea, they said.

Eager to fend off pressure, China preceded Hu's visit with a US shopping spree last week, signing contracts worth 16.2 billion dollars, including the purchase of 80 Boeing aircraft.

This could persuade US politicians to stop beating on China, at least for now, said Paul Harris, a Sino-US relations expert at Hong Kong's Lingnan University.

"Money talks," said Harris. "They're targeting the spending in the industries and geographic constituencies that really matter."

On Taiwan, which Beijing considers a part of its territory awaiting reunification, Yang indicated President Hu will seek further reassurance from Bush that the US will discourage Taiwan leader Chen Shui-bian from pushing his pro-independence agenda.

"We hope that the United States ... will not send any wrong signals to Taiwan secessionist forces," Yang said.

Chinese officials expressed optimism about the trip, but analysts were less hopeful.
"The differences are hard to be narrowed, but the two countries could find more channels to resolve their differences and will have more experience in solving future problems," Tsinghua University's He said.

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