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Hu, Obama Discuss Positive, Stable US-China Relations


China says it is looking forward to working together with the United States to build what it calls a "positive, cooperative and comprehensive relationship." These comments come Thursday, following a phone call between the presidents of the two countries.

Chinese President Hu Jintao was quoted by the official Xinhua News Agency as saying his country is willing to work with the United States to develop "healthy and stable" relations.

Consensus reached

The report says, in a Thursday phone call, President Hu and U.S. President Barack Obama reached what it called "extensive consensus" in joint efforts to fight the global financial crisis.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu told reporters in Beijing the two leaders discussed a wide range of other issues.

Ma says the two leaders discussed bilateral relations, in depth, as well as swine influenza H1N1. He says the two sides also discussed the situation in South Asia, as well as on the Korean peninsula.

The American negotiator for the six-party talks aimed at ending North Korea's nuclear weapons program is in Beijing for meetings with Chinese leaders.

Beijing concerned about ship standoff

One issue that neither president says was discussed is a recent standoff in the Yellow Sea between a U.S. Navy surveillance ship and two Chinese fishing vessels.

The Chinese spokesman says the American ship breached Chinese laws.

Ma says China has expressed concern about the issue and is urging the U.S. side to take measures to prevent this kind of incident from recurring.

The ship standoff is similar to another naval confrontation in March, in the South China Sea.

In both cases, China accused the United States of violating what the United Nations Law of the Sea recognizes as a coastal country's exclusive economic zone, which extends 322-kilometers into the ocean.

The economic zone gives a country rights for economic exploitation, but is not the same as territorial waters, which extend a country's sovereignty 19 kilometers into the ocean.

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