China pledges to work with United States on Iran sanctions

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Washington, Apr 13(ANI): Chinese President Hu Jintao has promised U.S. President Barack Obama that he will join in negotiations for a new package of sanctions against Iran, officials here said.

However, Jintao made no specific commitment on backing measures that the U.S. considers are severe enough to force a change in direction in Iran's nuclear program.

During a 90-minute conversation in Washington before the opening of the Nuclear Security Summit, Obama sought to win more cooperation from China by directly addressing its concern that Iran could retaliate by cutting off oil shipments to China. China imports nearly 12 percent of their oil from Iran, The New York Times reports.

According to reports, Obama assured Jintao that he was "sensitive to China's energy needs" and would work to make sure that Beijing had a steady supply of oil if Iran cut China off in retaliation for joining the move to initiate severe sanctions.

With the U.S. and Europe joining hands on the need for fresh sanctions against Iran, China was facing mounting pressure to go along with Western powers against that country.

China is one of the five permanent members of the Security Council that wield veto power on any UN resolution.

Earlier, Obama had said that the U.S is devoted to working with China to build a positive, cooperative and comprehensive U.S.-China relationship.

"The U.S. would take concrete actions to steadily establish a partnership with China to deal with common challenges," Obama had said.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang had reiterated that the Chinese Government is committed to developing long-term, healthy and stable relations with the U.S.

"China hopes to work with the U.S. to strengthen dialogue, communication and cooperation and handle sensitive issues appropriately, so as to make joint efforts to build a positive, cooperative and comprehensive Sino-U.S. relationship for the 21st century," Gang added. (ANI)

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