Chinese President Hu Jintao (L) shakes hands with US President George W. Bush in Sydney at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in this September 6, 2007 photo. Hu and Bush had a telephone conversation Thursday evening and talked about bilateral relations and Iranian and Korean nuclear issues. [Xinhua]
BEIJING -- Chinese President Hu Jintao and his US counterpart George W. Bush discussed bilateral relations and the Iranian and Korean Peninsula nuclear issues during a telephone conversation Thursday.
Hu said China-US relations have moved forward in 2007, adding that the two sides have continued deep dialogue and exchanges at a strategic level.
Bilateral trade and economic relations have developed fast and continuously, and cooperation in other major fields has yielded fruits, the Chinese president said. The two countries have maintained close consultation and coordination on major international and regional issues, he added.
Hu also said the third China-US Strategic Economic Dialogue and the fifth China-US Strategic Dialogue would be held in Beijing soon.
China would like to make joint efforts with the US side in reaching more consensus and gaining more fruits through the dialogues, making new contributions to the comprehensive development of China-US constructive and cooperative relations, he added.
Hu said the appropriate handling of the Taiwan issue is the key to ensuring the steady and healthy development of China-US ties.
Taiwan authorities are intensifying "Taiwan independence" activities, including Taiwan's proposed referendum on U.N. membership, creating serious challenges and threats to peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits, he said.
It is in the common strategic interests of both China and the United States to firmly oppose and prevent "Taiwan independence" and maintain peace and stability across the Straits, he added.
Bush said the US attaches great importance to US-China ties.
The US-China Strategic Economic Dialogue and the US-China Strategic Dialogue are successful platforms on which the two sides cooperate, Bush said, expressing the hope that the dialogues make more progress, he said.
The US side would keep cooperating with China on the Taiwan issue, he added.
On the Iranian nuclear issue, Bush expressed the US willingness to solve the issue through dialogue and other diplomatic measures. He hoped the United Nations could continue the necessary action to urge Iran to stop its uranium enrichment activities.
Hu reiterated China's persistent stand to peacefully solve the nuclear issue through diplomatic negotiation, so as to protect regional peace and stability, which will meet the interests of allthe parties concerned. China is willing to continue to play a constructive role to help solve the issue, Hu said.
About the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula, Hu pointed out that the starting action of the relevant joint declaration has been fully implemented, and the second phase of actions has been successfully initiated. Every party should grasp this opportunity and keep on the dialogue, in order to gradually meet the target of denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula, Hu suggested.
Bush agreed that the six-party talks are the best way to solve the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula. The United States highly appreciates the important role China has played in this regard, and is willing to cooperate with other parties to push forward the six-party talks, Bush said.