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Hu's rough talk: Keep away from Tibet, US warned

Last updated on: January 21, 2011 15:30 IST

Hu's rough talk: Keep away from Tibet, US warned

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Chinese President Hu Jintao has warned the United States to keep away from Tibet or else bilateral ties would be greatly affected, a day after his American counterpart Barack Obama asked him to talk to representatives of the Dalai Lama to resolve the issue.

Hu, who is on a four-day state visit to the US, the first by a Chinese President in 13 years, said Taiwan and Tibet represent the core interests of his country and touch upon the national sentiments of 1.3 billion Chinese.

"A review of the history of our relations tells us that China-US relations will enjoy smooth and steady growth when the two countries handle well issues involving each other's major interests. Otherwise, our relations will face a constant trouble or even tension," Hu said in his address to the US-China Business Council luncheon on Thursday.

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Image: US President Barack Obama looks on as Chinese President Hu Jintao speaks during a joint news conference in Washington
Photographs: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters
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'Tibet issue touches upon national sentiments of 1.3 billion Chinese'

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"Taiwan and Tibet-related issues concern China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and they represent China's core interests. They touch upon the national sentiments of the 1.3 billion Chinese. We hope that the US will honour its commitments and work with us to preserve the hard-won progress of our relations," Hu said.

Such hard-hitting remarks from the Chinese leader came a day after Obama asked him to talk to the representatives of the Dalai Lama to resolve the Tibet issue.

"Even as we, the United States, recognise that Tibet is part of the People's Republic of China, the United States continues to support further dialogue between the government of China and the representatives of the Dalai Lama to resolve concerns and differences, including the preservation of the religious and cultural identity of the Tibetan people," Obama had said at a joint news conference with Hu at the White House.

 


Image: Tibetan Americans march with a protest banner during a protest against visiting Chinese President Hu Jintao in Washington
Photographs: Hyungwon Kang/Reuters
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'It's normal if China and US have some frictions'

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The Tibet issue along with that of the human rights was candidly raised by Obama and his team during talks with the Chinese delegation led by Hu at the White House on Wednesday.

Tibet and Taiwan issues were also raised by US lawmakers when Hu met them at the Capitol Hill.

"China and the United States are different in history, culture, social system and development level," Hu said. "It is thus only normal that we have some disagreements and frictions. We should view and handle bilateral relations from the strategic and long-term perspective and with a sense of responsibility to history and to the future."

"We should prevent our relations from being affected or held back by any individual incident at any particular time. We should increase the mutual trust, remove obstacles and work together to build a China-US cooperative partnership based on mutual respect and mutual benefits," Hu said.

 


Image: Obama and Hu Jintao take part in an official South Lawn arrival ceremony at the White House in Washington
Photographs: Jason Reed/Reuters
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