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Cheney: US, China share more in common
2004-04-15 00:00


US Vice-President Dick Cheney said here Thursday that despite differences between the United States and China, the two countries have more factors in common.

In his speech at Shanghai's Fudan University, Cheney said the United States and China used to fight with each other as enemies 50 years ago, but now the circumstances have changed greatly.

Now the two countries have many common interests and have cooperated with each other on many issues for world development, peace and stability, which also benefited the two peoples, he said.

Cheney said there was no doubt that the United States and China still have many differences, but the differences could be solved with sincerity, time and mutual efforts.

In response to student's questions on the Taiwan issue, Cheney said "the position that the United States has been and will continue to be is that we don't support Taiwan independence".

Cheney said the US government believes in the policy of "one-China" based on the three US-China joint communiques and the Taiwan Relations Act, and the US government is opposed to any unilateral moves on either side to change the status quo across the Taiwan Straits.

As an experienced diplomat, Cheney has been to China three times and his last visit was almost a decade ago.

He said China's fast economic growth has improved many people's living standards and also turned China into one of the biggest economies in the world. "The people of the United States are tremendously impressed with the achievements China has made in recent decades."

Talking about the trade friction between the United States and China, Cheney said he believed it was quite normal between two trading nations.

"I don't find that surprising given the extensive relations between our two countries," he said. China is now the third largest trade partner of the United States and the trade volume between the two countries has exceeded 100 billion US dollars.

"It (the trade friction) is simply the reflection that the economic relationship has become so close and there are such high volumes of trade back and forth between the two sides," Cheney said.

On the Korean nuclear issue, Cheney said members to the six-party talks should cooperate closely and try their best to realizethe goal of building a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula.

 "We will continue to work closely with China and other members of the group and do our very best to achieve the objective by diplomatic means and negotiations," he said.

Cheney said a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula entails the agreement of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) for a complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantlement of its nuclear capabilities, and the US side hopes the members to the six-party talks should work together to persuade the DPRK to reach thegoal.

When asked to comment on the current situation in Iraq, Cheneysaid the US side is willing to work closely with the United Nations on the Iraqi reconstruction, and expects Iraq to draw a constitution and hold a general election at an early date.

He said Lakhdar Brahimi, the special envoy of the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, has already arrived in Iraq, and is keeping inextensive contacts with the coalition forces and the Iraqi representatives on establishing an interim government which will take over political power as from June 30 this year.

The United States expects the United Nations to play an advisory and guiding role in the Iraqi reconstruction work, Cheneysaid.

 The vice president also expressed his support to enhancing exchanges between the armies of the United States and China.

 "Those kind of communications are very positive in terms of building the relationship, and also in terms of enhancing understanding, and reducing the possibility of miscalculations in future," he said.

 "I wholeheartedly support those kind of exchanges. I think they made very positive contributions to the relationship between the United States and China," Cheney said.

 After the speech, Cheney attended a lunch for US entrepreneurs in Shanghai.

Cheney started his China visit from Beijing on Tuesday at the invitation of his Chinese counterpart Zeng Qinghong.

 This is his first visit to China as US vice-president.

 During his stay in Beijing, Chinese President Hu Jintao, Chairman of the Central Military Commission Jiang Zemin and Premier Wen Jiabao met with him. Cheney also held talks with his Chinese counterpart Zeng Qinghong.

 On Thursday afternoon, Cheney concluded his China tour and left Shanghai for Seoul.
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