Beijing and Washington start fresh round of key talks

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 17 December, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 17 December, 2008, 12:00am

China and the US began a new round of strategic dialogue in Washington yesterday, discussing bilateral and international issues in the run-up to the 30th anniversary of normalised ties between the two countries.

In the sixth round of the semi- annual Sino-US senior dialogue, State Councillor Dai Bingguo and US Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte discussed how to maintain 'stable momentum' between the two countries, Xinhua reported. Mr Dai was quoted by the news agency as saying that a common interest in bilateral relations had become increasingly firm, and a new situation of mutual integration of interests had developed.

He added that Sino-US relations had become more significant worldwide and the channel for the two countries' dialogue had become less clogged.

January 1 will mark the 30th anniversary of the resumption of Sino-US diplomatic ties. Before 1979, the US recognised only Taiwan as the government of China.

Mr Dai and Mr Negroponte had agreed to promote greater co-operation between their countries to deal with issues such as the financial crisis, climate change, terrorism, nuclear non-proliferation and energy security, Xinhua reported.

The week-long meeting comes as countries around the world struggle to cope with the global financial meltdown and seek out Beijing to play a bigger role in resolving the crisis.

Earlier talks covered global issues including security in northeast Asia, Iran and the conflict in Sudan's Darfur region. The previous meeting was held in January in Guiyang , Guizhou , amid mild tension between the two countries after Congress honoured the Dalai Lama with a congressional gold medal.

Sino-US ties have grown over the years despite constant tensions on issues such as Beijing's human rights records, religious freedom and currency policy.

In a signed commentary in yesterday's People's Daily, Shen Dingli of Fudan University's Centre for American Studies said Beijing and Washington had become increasingly interdependent, and the development of the two countries' relations would affect world peace and prosperity.

Professor Shen said he believed the two governments would not let any individual issue block development of their ties.