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Clinton Urges China to Cooperate on North Korea, Iran at Talks


Chinese Vice-Premier Wang Qishan (3rd R) stands alongside Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo (2nd R), U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (C) and U.S. Secretary of Treasury Timothy Geithner (2nd L) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, 24 May 2

Chinese Vice-Premier Wang Qishan (3rd R) stands alongside Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo (2nd R), U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (C) and U.S. Secretary of Treasury Timothy Geithner (2nd L) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, 24 May 2

At the start of broad bilateral talks in Beijing, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is urging China to cooperate on formulating an international response to North Korea and Iran.

Secretary Clinton said there are few global problems that can be solved by the United States or China acting alone or without them working together.

In her opening remarks to the high-level Strategic and Economic Dialogue that got underway in Beijing Monday, she pointed to North Korea and Iran as two cases where strong U.S-China relations are vital.

She said the U.S. and China cooperated last year in the U.N. Security Council to impose sanctions on North Korea after it conducted a nuclear weapons test.

"And today we face another serious challenge, provoked by the sinking of the South Korean ship," said Clinton. "So we must work together, again, to address this challenge and advance our shared objectives for peace and stability on the Korean peninsula."

In Seoul, President Lee Myung-bak announced Monday his country would cut most trade ties with the North and bar its ships from its waters in response to the sinking of a South Korean navy ship and the death of 46 sailors in March.

Secretary Clinton also pointed to the recent negotiations among the permanent five members of the U.N. Security Council, which include China and the U.S., in agreeing on a draft resolution that would impose new measures on Iran for its suspect nuclear program.

"The prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran concerns us all," she said. "And to address that threat, together we have pursued a dual-track approach of engagement and pressure, aimed at encouraging Iran's leaders to change course. The draft resolution agreed to by all of our P-5+1 [five permanent Security Council members plus Germany] partners and circulated at the Security Council sends a clear message to the Iranian leadership: Live up to your obligations, or face growing isolation and consequences."

Secretary Clinton added that U.S-Chinese cooperation is needed on a wide range of other issues, including terrorism, climate change, energy, health, education and development. On the economic side, U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said the two economic powers have a common interest in a strong and balanced world economy.

The Chinese side of the talks is being led by State Councilor Dai Bingguo and Vice Premier Wang Qishan.

While they did not mention North Korea or Iran by name, they did urge candid and in-depth discussions between the two countries and acknowledged that the two powers are becoming increasingly interdependent on the world stage.

President Hu Jintao also addressed the opening of the two days of economic and political talks. He said China and the U.S. have worked together to counter the world financial crisis, furthered trade and economic ties and stepped up cooperation on new and clean energy sources.

He said although the two countries are different and may disagree on some issues, China attaches great importance to its relations with the United States. He said both countries want to develop a "long-term, sound and steady relationship" that would contribute to peace, stability and prosperity.


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