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US, China end talks agreeing to disagree
Updated: 2005-12-09 14:53

Two days of discussions between the United States and China found common ground on contentious issues but the two sides agreed they sometimes will use differing policies to reach mutual goals.

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo is welcomed by US Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick in Washington, December 8, 2005. Two of the world's most powerful nations have kicked off a new round of strategic talks in Washington, to underscore their shared responsibilities as "stake-holders" in the global economic and security system and managing some frictions in their increasingly complex relationship. [Xinhua]

US officials emerged from the sessions seemingly convinced that the Chinese government has made a policy decision to exercise its emerging economic and political power as a "responsible stakeholder" in world affairs.

The phrase was used in a September speech by Robert Zoellick, the State Department's No. 2 official, that laid out U.S. strategies in its future relationships with China.

Zoellick headed the US side in the talks that ended Thursday. His counterpart for China was Dai Bingguo, China's executive vice foreign minister.

"During this week's dialogue we discussed how China could work with the United States and others on challenges such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran and North Korea," Zoellick said in a statement about the talks.

"Without always pursuing the same policies, we can still pursue the same policy goals with complementary approaches. We discussed our overlapping interests in fighting terrorism, preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, building energy security and reducing the risks of pandemic disease."
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