Sino-US differences on human rights remain

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Lalit K Jha

Washington, Jan 21 (PTI) The US and China have failed tobridge their differences on the pressing issue of human rightsduring key talks between Presidents Barack Obama and Hu Jintaothat also dealt with Tibet, though they announced a slew oftrade deals worth over USD 45 billion despite a deep divide oneconomic matters.

Obama urged Hu, who is on a four-day State Visit to theUS, to have dialogue with representatives of the Tibetanspiritual leader the Dalai Lama to address concerns of thepeople of Tibet.

"Even as we, the United States, recognise that Tibet ispart of the People''s Republic of China, the United Statescontinues to support further dialogue between the governmentof China and the representatives of the Dalai Lama to resolveconcerns and differences, including the preservation of thereligious and cultural identity of the Tibetan people," Obamasaid at a joint news conference with Hu at the White Houseafter their talks last evening.

The Tibet issue along with that of the human rightswas candidly raised by Obama and his team during talks withthe Chinese delegation led by Hu.

Ahead of the Obama-Hu talks, as many as 39 Tibetanassociations and support groups in the US urged Obama in aletter to raise the issue of Tibet with Hu.

A number of Tibetan organisations also held a day-longdemonstration in front of the White House protesting againstthe alleged Chinese brutalities in Tibet.

Hu said there were disagreements between China and theUnited States on the issue of human rights, but China waswilling to engage in dialogue and exchanges with it on thebasis of mutual respect and the principle of non-interferencein each other''s internal affairs.

"In this way, we will be able to further increase ourmutual understanding, reduce our disagreements and expand ourcommon ground," he asserted.

The Chinese President also acknowledged that a lot needsto be done in his country on human rights.

On the trade front where the two sides have majordifferences on issues like currency, the US and Chinesecompanies announced deals worth over USD 45 billion, includingone for sale of 200 Boeing aeroplanes valued at USD 19billion.

The deals would help support an estimated 2,35,000 jobsin the US, said a White House fact-sheet.

"These cross-border collaborations, both public andprivate, underpin the expanding US-China commercialpartnership, contributing to economic growth and developmentin both countries," it said.

The deals cut across sectors as varied as auto parts andagriculture. In addition, 11 investment contracts worth USD3.24 billion were signed.

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