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Saturday, November 8, 2008

Hu, Obama discuss China-US relations

Hope US-China relationship will have a smooth transition to the Obama administration.

US and China need to cooperate to solve the world's financial problems.

Hu, Obama discuss China-US relations

BEIJING (AFP) — China and the United States should "accommodate each other's concerns," Chinese President Hu Jintao told US President-elect Barack Obama Saturday in a telephone conversation, state media reported.

Hu and Obama spoke on a range of issues including the current global financial turmoil, Xinhua news agency reported early Sunday, in what is thought to be the pair's first conversation since Obama's election victory.

"Hu pointed out that since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries 30 years ago, bilateral relations have generally kept developing despite setbacks," the report said.

The report did not say how long they spoke for.

"China and the United States should respect each other and accommodate each other's concerns, and appropriately settle sensitive issues between the two countries, particularly the Taiwan issue," Xinhua quoted Hu as saying.

China on Thursday urged Obama to oppose independence for Taiwan, saying that the proper handling of the issue was key to good relations between Beijing and Washington.

During Saturday's phone conversation, Obama, who defeated his Republican rival John McCain in Tuesday's election, said China was a "great" nation, the report quoted the Democrat as saying.

"In today's international arena, US-China relations are relations of vital importance. The development of US-China relations is not only in the interest of both nations, but also benefits the world," it quoted Obama as saying.

The Xinhua report said the pair also discussed other "major international issues of common concern," including security and climate change.

"As the largest developing nation and the largest developed nation, China and the United States share extensive common interests on issues related to world peace and development," the report quoted Hu as telling Obama.

Hu also told Obama the international community needed to work together to help overcome the global financial problems and "launch necessary reforms of the global financial system," the report said.

The Chinese president reportedly thanked Obama during their conversation for recognising the importance of China-US relations during presidential campaigning.

Obama criticised Chinese trade policies during his campaign, but not in particularly strident terms.

Analysts say they expect relations between China and Obama's administration to be generally smooth due largely to Washington's need for cooperation on the global financial crisis from an increasingly powerful Beijing.

China's Communist leaders are widely viewed as favouring Republican presidents over Democrats due to the perception that the latter's ties to American unions make them more vocal about trade practices that impact on US jobs.

Hu, who will head to a summit in the United States in mid-November to discuss the global financial crisis, had previously congratulated Obama on his election victory in a written message.

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