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Bush, Chinese President Promise Increased Security Cooperation

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, April 20, 2006 – The U.S. and Chinese presidents agreed here today to step up cooperation and provide a more unified front against terrorism, North Korea's and Iran's nuclear programs, and other global security threats.

President Bush welcomed Chinese President Hu Jintao to the White House today, noting the two countries' shared strategic interests and expressing hope the United States and China can work together to address their common challenges.

"Prosperity depends on security, so the United States and China share a strategic common interest in enhancing security for both our peoples," the president said during a welcoming ceremony on the White House's South Lawn. "We intend to deepen our cooperation in addressing threats to global security," including Iran's nuclear ambitions; genocide in Darfur, Sudan; violence unleashed by terrorists and extremists; and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, he said.

Bush thanked China for hosting the Six-Party Talks aimed at getting North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons and nuclear programs. "I'll continue to seek President Hu's advice and cooperation and urge his nation to use its considerable influence with North Korea to make meaningful progress toward a Korean peninsula that is free of nuclear weapons," he said.

Speaking through an interpreter, Hu told Bush the Chinese people still remember the "heroic sacrifice" of thousands of U.S. troops killed in China more than 60 years ago in the two countries' common struggle against fascism.

He noted the strengths of the both the U.S. and Chinese people and said the best way for them to face the future is by working together. "Enhanced interactions and cooperation between China and the United States serve the interests of our two peoples and are conducive to world peace and development," he said.

Hu committed to continue working with the United States and others to peacefully resolve the nuclear issues involving North Korea and Iran, uphold the international nonproliferation regime, and safeguard global peace and stability.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld spent three days in Beijing in October meeting with Chinese defense and military leaders to help improve the two countries' defense relationship.

Rumsfeld called the visit, which included a session with his Chinese counterpart, Gen. Cao Gangchuan, an opportunity to promote cooperation and dispel misconceptions.

The secretary left Beijing optimistic that the United States and China will learn from each other and find ways to work better together. "We certainly share the hope and goal that our countries can move forward in a relationship that is candid and straightforward and ... steadily advances the peace and opportunity of the people of Asia and the people of the United States," Rumsfeld said.

In March, Peter Rodman, assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs, told the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission that Rumsfeld's visit laid important groundwork.

"We think both sides would gain by having more interaction," Rodman said. "We would learn more about them, and perhaps they would learn more about us."

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