(AFP) – Nov 8, 2008
BEIJING (AFP) — Beijing and Washington should "accommodate each other's concerns," Chinese President Hu Jintao told US president-elect Barack Obama in a phonecall that stressed good Sino-US ties, state media said Sunday.
Hu and Obama spoke Saturday, with the Chinese leader calling for cooperation on issues such as the current global financial turmoil but also urging US respect for Chinese positions on touchy issues such as Taiwan, Xinhua news agency said.
The conversation is thought to be the pair's first since Obama's election victory last week, with Hu becoming the latest world leader to get acquainted with the man whose election has been welcomed worldwide.
"Hu pointed out that since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries 30 years ago, bilateral relations have generally kept developing despite setbacks," the report said.
The report did not say how long they spoke for or who initiated the call. However, Obama has been busy calling world leaders who had sent written congratulations on his defeat of Republican John McCain.
Hu was one of those leaders.
"China and the United States should respect each other and accommodate each other's concerns, and appropriately settle sensitive issues between the two countries, particularly the Taiwan issue," Xinhua quoted Hu as saying.
China on Thursday urged Obama to oppose independence for Taiwan, saying that the proper handling of the issue was key to good relations between Beijing and Washington.
China has claimed sovereignty over Taiwan ever since the island split with the mainland in 1949 at the end of the civil war that brought the Chinese Communists to power.
Hu pledged, however, to maintain close contact with an Obama administration and "strengthen the exchange of opinion and coordination with the United States on major international and regional issues," Xinhua said.
During Saturday's phone conversation, Obama, who defeated his Republican rival John McCain in Tuesday's election, said China was a "great" nation and that strong Sino-US ties were good for the world, the report quoted the Democrat as saying.
Obama has been inundated with plaudits from around the world over his election, with even Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a fierce US critic, congratulating him and calling for a change in "selfish" US policy.
The Xinhua report said the pair also discussed other issues including security and climate change.
"As the largest developing nation and the largest developed nation, China and the United States share extensive common interests on issues related to world peace and development," the report quoted Hu as telling Obama.
Hu also told Obama the international community needed to work together to "launch necessary reforms of the global financial system," the report said.
The Chinese president reportedly thanked Obama during their conversation for recognising the importance of China-US relations during presidential campaigning.
Obama criticised Chinese trade policies during his campaign, but not harshly.
Analysts expect smooth relations between China and Obama's administration as Washington needs cooperation on the global financial crisis from an increasingly powerful Beijing.
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