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Obama meets Chinese premier Wen Jiabao

IANS
Nov 18, 2009 at 05:33pm IST

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Beijing: US President Barack Obama met Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on Wednesday as he wound up a first visit to China that featured pledges from both nations to develop strategic cooperation on major international issues.

"We have had very productive discussions over the last few days," Obama said.

"President Hu (Jintao) and myself agreed in our first meeting that we wanted to try to deepen the strategic partnerships and relationships between the United States and China," he said.

VISIT TO CHINA: Barack Obama (L) shakes hands with Wen Jiabao prior to their talks in Beijing.

"A relationship that used to be focused just on economic and trade issues is now expanding to deal with a whole host of global issues in which US-China cooperation is critical," Obama said.

On Tuesday, Obama and Hu Jintao promised close cooperation on finance, climate change and other international issues, and marked Obama's first visit to China with a vow to hold regular dialogue.

"We meet here at a time when the relationship between the United States and China has never been more important to our collective future," said Obama.

"The major challenges of the 21st century, from climate change to nuclear proliferation to economic recovery, are challenges that touch both our nations, and challenges that neither of our nations can solve by acting alone," he said.

Hu Jintao said he and Obama agreed that regular high-level contact was "essential to the growth of US-China relations".

Hu accepted an invitation from Obama to visit the US next year (2010), the two sides said.

In their joint statement, they pledged closer cooperation on trade, military ties, counter-terrorism, North Korea, Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan, and a host of other issues.

Obama said the US side also promoted "America's bedrock belief that all men and women possess certain universal rights" during talks on Tuesday.

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