Rice expects more solid Sino-US relations

By Qin Jize and Li Xiaokun (China Daily)
Updated: 2008-02-27 07:15

Visiting US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Tuesday she expects to see "more solid" relations between Washington and Beijing.

Chinese President Hu Jintao (R) shakes hands with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice during a meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, February 26, 2008. [Agencies]

During a meeting with President Hu Jintao, Rice said the United States appreciates Chinese efforts in resolving issues such as Darfur, and hopes China will continue to play a positive role.

She reiterated her country's adherence to the one-China policy and again warned the Taiwan authorities against an attempt to hold a referendum on the island's UN membership.

At an earlier news conference with Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, she said: "I think we have been very clear that we think that this referendum is not going to help anyone and, in fact, it shouldn't be held.

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"I have said that before and I will say it again."

During his meeting with Rice, Hu called for a cautious handling of the Taiwan question.

He said Beijing is willing to work with Washington to firmly deter Taiwan secessionist forces, maintain peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits, and ensure a sound and stable development of a constructive relationship with the US.

Hu said China would work with the US to handle bilateral relations from a long-term and strategic point of view.

He thanked the US government and people for their assistance during China's recent snow disasters.

Rice recounted President George W. Bush as saying "the US people are pleased to do whatever to help people in southern China. This is the evidence of our governments being able to cooperate in a time of extreme circumstance". The US government donated $150,000 and the US Defense Department provided disaster-relief materials worth about $820,000.

This is Rice's fourth visit to China as secretary of state and comes at a time when momentous events are in the offing in both countries, such as the Olympic Games and the US presidential election.

In the meeting with Yang, Rice said Washington hopes to establish an even more solid relationship with Beijing.

She also said the US opposes politicizing of the Beijing Games, noting that Bush and his family are looking forward to attending the opening ceremony in August.

The two sides also discussed the resumption of human rights dialogues, as well as international issues including the situation in the Korean Peninsula, Iran and Sudan.

Rice also met Premier Wen Jiabao and State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan Tuesday.

Analysts said Rice's visit is key to maintaining the momentum in Sino-US ties.

Jin Canrong, a professor at Renmin University of China, said the mechanisms to deal with differences between the two countries are much more stronger than before.

"Common interests are growing and the willingness to develop bilateral ties is firm and resolute," Jin said.

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