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State Media: Hu - Obama Meeting Boosts Sino-US Ties

Chinese state media say President Hu Jintao's meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama Wednesday has set the foundation for greater cooperation between the two countries.

An opinion piece published Thursday by the official Xinhua news agency notes that at a time when the international financial crisis continues to spread, the United States and China need to work together to ride out the storm.

A report in the People's Daily, the ruling Communist Party's main newspaper, said Mr. Hu told Mr. Obama during their meeting that the two sides are at a critical juncture and facing an important opportunity for development.

On Wednesday, the White House announced Mr. Obama accepted an invitation from the Chinese president to visit China later this year.

The two met in London, ahead of the of the G20 economic summit.

They told reporters afterward they agreed to strengthen bilateral ties and to cooperate in improving peace and stability around the world.

U.S. officials said they agreed to expand regular exchanges between top officials beyond strictly economic concerns to include issues of immediate and long-term strategic interest.

The two leaders agreed to strengthen military-to-military exchanges and cooperation in areas including economy and trade, energy efficiency, climate change, counter-terrorism and education. U.S. officials said the two leaders also discussed humanitarian issues and agreed to resume a human rights dialogue as soon as possible.

The first "U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue" will take place in Washington in a few months. The new dialogue will replace the similarly named "U.S.-China Strategic Economic Dialogue" that began in 2006.

The U.S. Treasury Secretary and other trade officials met twice a year through that dialogue, which was established by Mr. Hu and then U.S. President George W. Bush.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.