x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

China happy with new US relationship

China hails a meeting between the Chinese president Hu Jintao and US leader Barack Obama, saying it paves the way for greater co-operation.

China today hailed a meeting between the Chinese president Hu Jintao and US leader Barack Obama, saying it paved the way for greater co-operation and better understanding between the world powers. The two leaders met for the first time in London yesterday ahead of the G20 financial crisis summit, pledging to expand ties and elevate a regular economic dialogue to cover all strategic bilateral issues. Mr Obama also accepted "with pleasure" an invitation from Mr Hu to go to China in the second half of the year, according to the White House.

"The importance of the co-operation is greater than in the past," the foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang told reporters in Beijing following the summit. "In the new mechanism, the heads of state have appointed two representatives to be responsible for the strategic dialogue and the economic dialogue respectively. "The two countries have increased their understanding on bilateral co-operation." China's state press also welcomed the expanded dialogue, which will kick off midyear in the United States and be held annually, saying it set a crucial foundation for greater co-operation between the two nations.

"The establishment of the China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue mechanism is an important step to further advance bilateral relations," Xinhua news agency said in a commentary, using the dialogue's new name. Xinhua emphasised the importance of the two nations understanding each other better and working more closely, following eight years of stable but frequently tense bilateral relations when George W Bush was US president.