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President Hu says important consensus reached in talks with Obama

Chinese President Hu Jintao and U.S. President Barack Obama attend a joint press conference at the White House in Washington, the United States, Jan. 19, 2011. (Xinhua/Li Xueren)

WASHINGTON, Jan. 19 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Hu Jintao said here Wednesday that important consensus was reached during his talks with U.S. President Barack Obama.

"We had an in-depth exchange of views and reached important agreement on China-U.S. relations and major international and regional issues of shared interest," President Hu told a joint press conference with Obama following their meeting.

The Chinese leader said both sides "agree to further push forward the positive, cooperative and comprehensive U.S.-China relationship and commit to work together to build a China-U.S. cooperative partnership based on mutual respect and mutual benefit so as to better benefit people in our own countries and the world over."

Both sides also agreed to strengthen exchanges and cooperation in economy and trade, energy and environment, science and technology, infrastructure construction, culture and education, counter-terrorism, non-proliferation, law enforcement and other areas so as to achieve mutual benefit, according to the Chinese president.

Saying his talks with Obama were conducted "under candid, pragmatic and constructive atmosphere," Hu said China appreciates Obama's commitment to a positive and constructive China policy, and to stable and growing China-U.S. relations since he took office two years ago.

Hu noted that China and the United States share expanding common interests and shoulder increasing common responsibilities, and voiced support for expanding military exchanges between the two sides.

"We believe expansion of military exchanges and cooperation will be conducive to deepening mutual trust between our two countries," Hu said.

While stressing that China-U.S. cooperation has great significance for the two countries and for the world, the Chinese leader said the two sides "should firmly adhere to the right direction of our relationship; respect each other's sovereignty, territorial integrity and development interests; promote the long-term sound and steady growth of China-U.S. relations and make even greater contributions to maintaining and promoting world peace and development."

During President Hu's state visit, the two countries had signed a number of cooperation agreements. "These will inject fresh momentum into our bilateral cooperation and create a great many job opportunities for our two countries," Hu said.

On the situation on the Korean Peninsula, he said both countries agreed to work together with relevant parties to maintain peace and stability on the peninsula, promote denuclearization of the peninsula and achieve lasting peace and security in Northeast Asia.

The Chinese leader reaffirmed China's firm commitment to the path of peaceful development and a win-win strategy of opening up.

"China is a friend and partner of all countries, and China's development is an opportunity for the world," he said.

Meanwhile, Hu said he and Obama discussed some disagreements in the economic and trade area, with both sides pledging "to continue to appropriately resolve these according to the principle of mutual respect and consultation on an equal footing."

Addressing the same press conference, Obama said cooperation between the two countries is good for the two sides and for the whole world.

"Along with our G-20 partners, we've moved from the brink of catastrophe to the beginning of global economic recovery," he said.

Noting China is one of the top markets for American exports, Obama said the annual U.S. exports to China in goods and services support "more than half a million American jobs."

He praised China's extraordinary economic growth that "has lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty. "This is a tribute to the Chinese people," he added.

The U.S. leader also expressed his satisfaction with the reaching of dozens of deals between the two sides that will increase U.S. exports "by more than 45 billion U.S. dollars."

Hu, who unfurled his first state visit to the United States Tuesday since Obama took office in 2009, just concluded his eighth meeting with Obama before the press conference.

Before the talks, a grand welcome ceremony for President Hu was held at the White House.

Hu said at the ceremony that his visit is aimed at increasing mutual trust, enhancing friendship, deepening cooperation and pushing forward the positive, cooperative and comprehensive China-U.S. relationship for the 21st century.

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