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US ambassador to China trumpets countries' roles

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-04-09 01:11

BOAO, Hainan - The world is counting on leadership from both China and the United States to solve various issues, US Ambassador to China Gary Locke said here on Monday.

"It's important that we work even more closely together and we try to solve some of the problems facing not just China or the United States, but indeed the world," Locke said in an exclusive interview with Xinhua.

Both China and the United States have recently completed leadership transitions. US President Barack Obama was sworn into office for a second four-year term in January, while Chinese President Xi Jinping took office last month.

The two countries could work together to tackle climate change, find a cure for diseases like cancer, end hunger and famine, and to stop the spread of weapons of mass destruction, Locke said on the sidelines of the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) Annual Conference, which concluded on Monday.

"The world has enormous challenges facing it right now and we are still trying to recover from the global financial crisis," said Locke. "The key is really cooperation."

"The peoples of America and China are so interdependent," he said, citing the millions of jobs in both countries that depend on bilateral trade.

People in the West depend on a growing Asia and a prosperous China while much of China's exports depend on the high income of people in the West, said the ambassador, adding that he is very "excited and optimistic about the future of Asia."

The United States and China, the world's two biggest economies, are each other's second-largest trade partner. Trade between the two countries has ballooned over the past three decades to hit around 500 billion US dollars in 2012.

Locke believes that the BFA is taking on greater importance in promoting dialogues among the leaders of Asia.

"I see this as a very important role in helping improve life for the people of all of Asia and not just China," he said.

Established in 2001, the BFA is an international non-governmental, non-profit organization that holds annual forums for government, business and academic leaders in Asia and other continents.

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