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Hu, Obama agree to cooperate more
Updated: 2009-11-17 14:24

BEIJING: China told the United States here on Tuesday to firmly oppose trade protectionism as one of the major issues of concern during a meeting of the two countries' leaders.

"Under the current circumstances, our two countries should oppose and reject trade protectionism in all its manifestations in an even stronger way," President Hu Jintao told visiting US President Barack Obama.

Hu said his closed-door meeting with Obama in the Great Hall of the People that lasted more than two hours was "candid, constructive, and very fruitful".

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"I told President Obama that it's only natural that our two countries, given our differences in national conditions, disagree on some issues. We believe it's important to respect and accommodate each other's core interests and major concerns," Hu told reporters.

Obama said bilateral ties would not be problem free in the future, but cooperation would generate prosperity. He also reiterated China's development.

"China's effort has proven critical in pulling ourselves out of the worst recession in generations," Obama said.

He said both countries agreed that the US will save more, spend less and reduce long-term debt, while China makes adjustments in a broad range of areas to spur the economy and boost demand.

"This would lead to increase in US exports and jobs on the one hand, and increase living standards in China on the other," he said.

Fighting global warming

Apart from economics, Hu said both sides have reached "broad consensus" on various bilateral, regional and global issues. According to Obama, "these are challenges neither of our two countries can solve by acting alone".

On fighting global warming, "the two countries have signed an initiative to set up a China-US clean energy research center", Hu said.

Obama said both countries agreed to work together for successful cooperation on tackling climate change, noting they would promote the outcome of the upcoming United Nation's Climate Change meeting in the Danish capital of Copenhagen next month.

Nuclear disarmament

Hu said both state leaders also "remain committed" to denuclearize the Korean peninsula through dialogue and consultation, such as pushing forward the reopening of the Six-Party talks.

Similarly, Obama urged the resumption of the Six-Party Talks as soon as possible, saying the Democratic People's Republic of Korea has a choice to be further isolated or to become a full member of the international community.

In the meantime, "Iran must show the international community that its nuclear program is peaceful and transparent", Obama said, adding that this is common for all five Permanent Members of the UN Security Council.

He said both countries agreed to cooperate more on "pursuing the goal" that neither Afghanistan nor Pakistan should be used as bases of terrorism.

Human rights issues also came up as a subject in Obama's summary speech. He said Washington and Beijing agreed to resume the topic further in a human rights dialogue early next year.

US-China relations "go beyond any single issue", Obama said.