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What the presidents said

Jiang and Bush
Presidents George W. Bush and Jiang Zemin expressed their commitment to improve relationship between their countries  


CNN -- In their first ever meeting, both Chinese President Jiang Zemin and U.S. President George W. Bush said they were working towards strengthening the "cooperative relationship" between the United States and China.

"The nations of APEC show the same threat and the same hope for economic prosperity," Bush said, following their meeting in Shanghai, ahead of an Asia Pacific Economic Forum leaders' summit.

He rammed home the importance against the fight against terrorism, a fight Jiang said China was also committed to.

"I could not believe the improvements, dynamism and the impressiveness of Shanghai in 2001," said Bush, who visited Shanghai as a student 25 years ago. "You've done an impressive job," he told Jiang.

On the threat of terrorism, Bush told Jiang: "We are all committed to join together to combat that threat, and I believe that China and the United States share a common interest to work together to combat terrorism."

He said that this was a time for the people of America to unite together and a time for the United States and China "to stand side by side as we fight this evil force."

Bush praised China for its continued integration into the world community as it stands on the verge of entry into the World Trade Organization, has won the 2006 Olympic bid and prepares to enter soccer's World Cup for the first time ever.

"China is a great nation and America gains a lot from the relationship with China. We welcome a China that is a full member of the world community and that is at peace with its neighbors," he said.

"We welcome and support China's accession to the WTO and we believe that it is a development that will benefit the people of China and the rest of the world."

Thorny issues

Bush also addressed some of the thornier issues between the two sides.

"We have had a very hard discussion, including the fact that the war on terrorism must never be an excuse to persecute minorities," he said.

Bush said he also pushed the U.S. viewpoint on Taiwan in the hope of promoting stability in East Asia.

The issues of missile defense and nuclear proliferation were also raised with Jiang, Bush said, but did not elaborate.

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Relations between the two are cooperative and an improved relationship would help both countries through a difficult time, Bush said, adding that improved trade links would benefit all Chinese and American citizens

Cancellation

Bush expressed his disappointment as having to cancel his trip to Beijing, but said he looked forward to visiting it at "a different time," which he did not specify, thanking Jiang for his hospitality.

Jiang said there were always going to be differences between the two great nations, but he said he was pleased that the relationship between America and China could move forward. He also said that despite their disagreements, he was upbeat about the prospect of trade between the two.

"As long as the question of Taiwan is addressed, then there will be a bright future for our relationship," he said.

Of the military campaign in Afghanistan, Bush said: "Our nation will do what it takes to bring them (the terrorists) to justice, no matter how long it takes. I don't know the time, but I do know the desire."

"I explained to the president that we will hold people accountable who harbor terrorists, and that is exactly what we are doing," he said.

Bush said he would continue his policy of not talking about military operations, and he was loathe "to respond to rumors that seep into the public consciousness."

Regarding anthrax attacks, Bush said: "I do not have direct knowledge of a direct link between the anthrax incidents and the enemy, but I wouldn't put it past them, these are evil deeds and the American people have been attacked with evil deeds."

Bush stressed that any American taking advantage of the situation to send out hoaxes or use scare tactics would be prosecuted.

"Now is a time in America for us to stand up against terrorism and for us as citizens to unite against terrorism."

Condemnation

Bush praised Jiang for the way that China quickly condemned the terror attacks and showed its support for the U.S.

"We are opposed to terrorism of all forms," Jiang said, adding that he hoped there would be multilateral efforts to fight terrorism.

He hinted that China might play a more active role in the fight against terrorism, saying the anti-terrorism strikes would "hit accurately and avoid civilian targets."

He also said anthrax was a worldwide public menace and "we should work together to combat it further."

Both leaders agreed it had been a productive meeting, and although the two countries still have unresolved differences, they said they were confident that China and the U.S. could work towards a better relationship.





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