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Wednesday, January 27, 2016, 22:27

China, US advance cooperation

By Zhang Yunbi and Li Xiaokun
China, US advance cooperation
President Xi Jinping escorts US Secretary of State John Kerry in Beijing on Jan 27 . (Wu Zhiyi / China Daily)

Top diplomats from Beijing and Washington found more common ground on Wednesday on key issues including the latest nuclear test by Pyongyang.

In a meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry, President Xi Jinping said that China-US ties have been smooth and have advanced in the past year, and the two countries have had "timely communication" on topics including the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue.

When China and the United States work together, they can make big things happen that are good for the world, Xi said.

Meeting the media with Kerry at the Foreign Ministry, Foreign Minister WangYi said China will hold "comprehensive and in-depth deliberations with the United States and other parties" on an expected UN Security Council resolution on the recent nuclear test by Pyongyang.

China and the US have agreed on the broad goal of restarting negotiations on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, Wang said. Kerry said their meeting was constructive and the two countries had agreed to accelerate their efforts on the issue at the United Nations.

Kerry spoke highly of productive communication and coordination between the two countries, specifically mentioning the Paris climate agreement and the Iran nuclear deal.

Responding to allegations by US media that China's self-defense facilities on some garrisoned islands and reefs in the South China Sea have "boosted militarization", Wang said China has promised not to engage in militarization.

"International law has given all sovereign countries the right to self-protection and self-defense," Wang said.

Taiwan also featured in the talks between the top diplomats, with Wang saying, "Taiwan is a core issue affecting China-US ties".

He urged Washington to "take concrete action to support the peaceful development of cross-Straits relations". In response, Kerry reaffirmed the US commitment to the One-China policy.

Kerry arrived in China on Tuesday after stops in Laos and Cambodia. He also met with State Councilor Yang Jiechi on Wednesday.

Su Ge, president of the China Institute of International Studies, said China and the US should "grab the wheel firmly", adding that one of expected political legacies of US President Barack Obama is the steady and healthy growth of the two-way relationship.

Teng Jianqun, a senior researcher of US studies at the same institute, said Kerry's visit "showcased the shared emphasis on keeping the relationship on track in 2016", when the US presidential election takes place.

Wang and Kerry are signaling that Beijing and Washington are moving closer to each other on resolving the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue as they have both stated opposition to any further attempts to destabilize the region, Teng said.

Fan Jishe, a researcher of US studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said Washington is still expecting Beijing to do more and to increase pressure on Pyongyang - an approach that has been opposed by China.

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