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US-China Relations Said to Have 'New Consensus'


A senior Chinese diplomat says China and the United States have reached a new consensus, following several months of strained ties.

Ahead of President Hu Jintao's trip next week to Washington to attend an international nuclear security summit - and to discuss bilateral ties with President Obama - senior Chinese diplomats were keen Wednesday to promote what they describe as a new understanding between Beijing and Washington, following a period of tense relations.

Vice Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai says China and the United States have reached what he describes as, "a new consensus," following a telephone call between the countries' two presidents, earlier this month.

He says what he calls the "fresh and considerate approach to differing views over key issues" including Tibet and Taiwan will be further demonstrated during President Hu's talks with President Obama on the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit.

Cui says Beijing and Washington should handle disputes and sensitive issues in a way to strengthen communication and cooperation in various spheres.

Some sensitive bilateral issues remain unresolved, including U.S. claims Beijing is manipulating its currency and China's refusal to back United Nations sanctions against Iran because of its nuclear program.

Some American economists argue that Beijing is deliberately undervaluing the level of the yuan, which gives Chinese exporters an unfair advantage.

Cui refuses to say if the Chinese yuan currency will be discussed between the two presidents.

He also refused to say if President Hu is preparing to be further pressed by the United States to adopt a tougher stance towards Iran, saying this was not on the agenda at the nuclear talks.

This will be the first time a Chinese leader has addressed the Nuclear Security Summit.

Cui says President Hu will put forward China's proposals to help strengthen international nuclear security.

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