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Hu's US visit a 'good opportunity' for ties

[ 2011-01-14 11:18]     字号 [] [] []  
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Sino-US ties need the direct involvement of top leaders, and President Hu Jintao's upcoming state visit here provides a "good opportunity" to help restore a positive momentum to the relationship, according to former US ambassador to China Stapleton Roy.

Roy, now the director of the Washington-based Kissinger Institute on China and United States, made the remarks during a recent interview with Xinhua in the run-up to Hu's visit scheduled for later this month. The ambassador, who was born in Nanjing, the capital of Jiangsu province in East China, is one of the most highly regarded US experts on China-US relations.

"The relationship between China and the United States over the past two years has continued to be a very vigorous one with engagement at all levels," the ambassador said, referring to the two years since the Obama administration took office.

"The economic relationship has continued to be very active, even though both countries were affected by the global downturn. Our exports to China declined less than our exports to other markets. And our imports from China have continued," he said.

Roy said the two countries have also been cooperating in other areas and on many issues - including very difficult issues such as the nuclear issues in Iran and tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

Nevertheless, Roy said, the relationship has had its downsides over the past two years.

The military-to-military relationship, for example, is one of the areas in which the two countries have not been able to engage each other effectively over the past two years, he said.

"There has also been friction in the relationship over the last two years, I would say, particularly over the last year, following the American arms sales to Taiwan and the president's meeting with the Dalai Lama," he said, referring to last year's announcement that the US approved a multi-billion dollar arms deal with Taiwan coupled with President Obama's meeting with the Dalai Lama in the White House in the early months of 2010.

The ambassador added that he believed such friction has triggered nationalistic responses from both countries, causing strategic suspicions between the two sides.

"We do have an unhealthy level of mutual suspicions. And if we let these mutual suspicions grow, then we are going to damage the interests of both countries," Roy said.

"I think because of these factors, the visit by President Hu Jintao to the United States in January is so important," he said.


(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Hu's US visit a 'good opportunity' for ties

About the broadcaster:

Hu's US visit a 'good opportunity' for ties

Lee Hannon is Chief Editor at China Daily with 15-years experience in print and broadcast journalism. Born in England, Lee has traveled extensively around the world as a journalist including four years as a senior editor in Los Angeles. He now lives in Beijing and is happy to move to China and join the China Daily team.