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Bush to Meet Chinese President


President Bush says he is eager to talk to China's president about trade and climate change - the two main issues at this year's Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Australia. VOA's Paula Wolfson reports Mr. Bush will meet with Hu Jintao on Thursday, as regional leaders gather in Sydney for the annual APEC meeting.

President Bush says he has a lot to discuss with President Hu, and climate change tops the list.

China was recently ranked as the world's second-largest emitter of so-called greenhouse gases, which are thought to contribute to climate change. The United States is the largest.

"In order for there to be an effective climate change policy, China needs to be at the table," said Mr. Bush. "In order to get China to the table, they have to be part of defining the goals."

At a joint news conference Wednesday in Sydney with Australian Prime Minister John Howard, Mr. Bush said the U.S. relationship with China is complex. He talked about financial issues, and again spoke of the need to convince China to let its currency float on world markets.

"We still have got a huge trade deficit with China, which then causes us to want to work with them to adjust - to let their currency float," he said. "We think that would be helpful in terms of adjusting trade balances."

Mr. Bush was asked if he plans to bring up recent allegations that Chinese hackers with government ties were able to tap into an unclassified e-mail system at the Pentagon's computer.

The Pentagon has confirmed that the system was hacked, but would not confirm that the source was in China.

President Bush said he has not seen all the information in the case, and declined to say if he believes the allegations. Instead, he focused on the need to build a relationship with China that enables Washington and Beijing to discuss sensitive issues openly and candidly.

"There's a lot of issues which we wish they would - wish they would have a different lean to their policy. So I'm going to discuss these with him," added Mr. Bush. "But it's best to be able to discuss these issues in an environment that is frank and open and friendly, as opposed to one in which there's tension and suspicion."

Mr. Bush said there are areas where the United States and China are working together to tackle world problems. He made specific mention of progress in efforts to deal with North Korea's nuclear ambitions. He says he would like to see that kind of cooperation in dealing with Iran, as well as the humanitarian crisis in Sudan's Darfur region.