Hu seeks common ground with US amid ''differences''

Lalit K Jha

Washington, Jan 16 (PTI) Chinese President Hu Jintaotoday sought common ground with the US as he prepared toembark on a visit to Washington, though he acknowledged that"differences" and "sensitive" issues persist between the twocountries.

In written responses to questions from The WashingtonPost and The Wall Street Journal published today, Hu insistedthat his country believes in the principle of peacefulco-existence, as he prepared to meet his counterpart BarackObama at the White House next week.

"There is no denying that there are some differencesand sensitive issues between us," Hu said.

But he asserted that "we both stand to gain from asound China-US relationship, and lose from confrontation".

To follow the path of peaceful development, he said,is a solemn commitment of the Chinese government and people tothe international community.

"It is a policy that we will always adhere to.

Specifically, it means that we will achieve nationaldevelopment by our hard and creative work, by reforming andimproving our institutions, and by maintaining friendship andmutually beneficial cooperation with other countries," Husaid.

China, he said, has been committed to the independentforeign policy of peace as also to defending its territorialintegrity and development interests.

"We stand for equality and mutual respect betweencountries. Like other countries in the world, China mustuphold its own sovereignty, territorial integrity anddevelopment interests," he said.

Hu said China has developed friendship and cooperationwith all countries on the basis of the Five Principles ofPeaceful Coexistence.

"At the same time, we are willing to properly handledifferences and disagreements in state-to-state relations inaccordance with the basic norms governing internationalrelations and the principle of mutual understanding, mutualaccommodation, dialogue and consultation," he said.

He said the relations between China and otherAsia-Pacific countries, including the US and its Asianneighbours, have grown steadily.

"Mutual trust between China and other countries inthis region has deepened in our common response to toughchallenges, and our cooperation has continuously expanded inour pursuit of mutual benefit and win-win outcomes.

"At present, relations between China and otherAsia-Pacific countries face unprecedented opportunities.

China is ready to work with other countries to seizeopportunities, meet challenges and promote peace anddevelopment in the region and beyond," said the Chinesepresident. .

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