Diplomat: Substantial progress in Sino-US ties
China and the United States maintained a sound momentum of improvement in bilateral relations in the first half of this year, and progress has been achieved in a number of important are as, a Chinese diplomat said in Washington on Tuesday.
The two countries continued to have top-level close contacts and exchanges, which have given great impetus to the development of the China-US constructive and cooperative relations, Sun Weide, press counselor and spokesman of the Chinese embassy in the United States, said a press conference.
US Vice President Dick Cheney paid a successful visit to China in April, and reached important consensus with Chinese leaders on a series of issues, he said.
High-level contacts and exchanges between the two sides so far this year included a visit by Chinese Vice Premier Wu Yi to the United States in April during which she jointly presided over the 15th session of the Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade with senior US officials, a visit by US national security adviser Condoleezza Rice to Beijing last week, and visits of US Commerce Secretary Donald Evans and Labor Secretary Elaine Chao to Beijing last month.
There have also been more and more exchanges between parliaments of the two countries, he said. An exchange mechanism has been established between China's National People's Congress and the US Congress. A number of prominent US lawmakers will visit China in the second half of the year, Sun said.
On economy and trade, Sun said that Sino-US economic and trade ties continued to grow fast. In the first five months this year, the trade volume between the two countries reached US$62.4 billion, a 34.4 percent increase over the same period last year. As an effort to tackle the imbalance of bilateral trade, China has sent a number of buying missions to the United States since last autumn and bought products worth over US$10 billion.
He urged the US side to take concrete actions, especially in relaxing its control on export to China and recognizing China's market economic status at an early date. China is strongly opposed to the abuse of anti-dumping measures based on trade protectionism,as trade disputes could be resolved through negotiations on the basis of equality and mutual benefit, he said.
China and the United States have cooperated in the anti-terrorism campaign, and have stepped up cooperation in cracking down on cross-border crimes and illegal immigrants, he said.
The diplomat noted that the two sides worked closely to ensure a complete success of the third round of the six-party talks on the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula, which was held in Beijing last month, and China has had frequent consultations with the US side on the Iraq issue.
The Taiwan issue is always the most important and sensitive issue in China-US relations, he said. China sticks to the basic guideline of "peaceful unification" and "one country, two systems," and will never tolerate "Taiwan independence," Sun pointed out.
China is gravely concerned over the recent US moves on the Taiwan issue, he said. China strongly urges the US side to stop selling advanced arms to Taiwan, cut its military links with Taiwan, stop any official exchanges with Taiwan authorities and stop supporting Taiwan to join international organizations where statehood is needed.
He also expressed grave concern and dissatisfaction over the recent irresponsible deeds and words by some US government officials and congress members on affairs in China's Hong Kong.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the United States, and the two countries are faced with important opportunities to further develop bilateral relations in the months and years ahead, Sun pointed out. So long as the two countries handle their relations from a strategic and long-term perspective and address differencesproperly, China-US relations will continue to forge ahead, he said.