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Sino-US relations improving: diplomat
Updated: 2004-07-15 00:08

Relations between the United States and China continued to improve during the first half of the year.

Progress was made in a number of important areas, said Sun Weide, press counselor and spokesman of the Chinese embassy in the United States, during a press conference.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the United States.

Both countries face opportunities to further develop ties in the months and years ahead.

High level contact between the two countries lend momentum to the development of the China-US relationship.

US Vice-President Dick Cheney visited China in April, and reached important consensus with Chinese leaders on a number of issues, he said.

Other exchanges 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 Labour Secretary Elaine Chao to Beijing last month.

There have also been more and more exchanges between the two countries' legislatures, 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 Sino-US economic and trade ties continued to grow fast. As an effort to tackle the imbalance of bilateral trade, China sent a number of buying missions to the United States since last autumn and bought more than US$10 billion in products.

The spokesman urged the US side to take concrete actions, especially in relaxing its control on exports to China and recognizing China's market economic status.

He also said, 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 worked together in the anti-terrorism campaign, and have stepped up co-operation in cracking down on cross-border crimes and illegal immigrants, he said.

The diplomat noted 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's moves to join international organizations where statehood is needed.

He also expressed grave concern and dissatisfaction over the recent moves by some US Government officials and congress members in relation to China's Hong Kong.

So long as the two countries handle their relations from a strategic and long-term perspective and address differences properly, China-US relations will continue to forge ahead, he said.

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