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Senior Chinese Official Calls on US to Respect China's Core National Interests

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A senior Chinese official on Tuesday called on the United States to respect China's core interests, stressing that today, mutual respect of core interests was key to good Sino-US relations.

State Councilor Dai Bingguo was speaking at a joint press conference with Vice Premier Wang Qishan, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, who were co-chairing the first round of the China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue in Washington.

The two sides had a "candid, thorough, comprehensive and productive" discussion, he concluded. However, he added that the "more important mission is to turn what we've said into actions."

"China is ready to work together with the United States to stay firmly committed to building positive, cooperative and comprehensive China-US relations for the 21st century, so that we can bring benefits to our two peoples and our two countries and also the whole world," said Dai.

"To ensure that a bilateral relationship will move forward on the track of long-term and sound development, a very important thing is that we need to support, respect and understand each other, and to maintain our core interests," he continued.

He stressed that China's major concerns include safeguarding its basic systems and national security, maintaining its sovereignty and territorial integrity as well as ensuring its sustained economic and social development.

"What I would like to say is that China and the United States, from the government, business communities and the militaries, must work together, and we can make China-US relations enjoy an even more beautiful future," said the state councilor.

During the two-day dialogue, Chinese and US officials discussed the challenges and opportunities that both countries face in many bilateral, regional and global areas of immediate and long-term strategic and economic interests.

The dialogue mechanism was upgraded from the former Strategic Dialogue and biannual Strategic Economic Dialogue, which were initiated by the two heads of state in 2005 and 2006 respectively.

On April 1, 2009, Chinese President Hu Jintao and his US counterpart Barack Obama agreed to launch the China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue during their first meeting in London on the sidelines of the G20 financial summit.

(Xinhua News Agency July 29, 2009)