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President Hu Touts ‘Common Interests’ in Remarks to Business Leaders

On the heels of a joint news conference with President Obama, a state dinner and meetings with congressional leaders, Chinese President Hu Jintao delivered remarks to American and Chinese business leaders on Thursday in Washington.

The themes he put forth — broad cooperation, prioritization of strategic interests — echoed those of the White House news conference (watch here).

President Hu was introduced by former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who called the “manner in which our two presidents have worked together” a “great achievement.” Kissinger is remembered for opening back-channel dialogue with China during the Nixon administration.

President Hu, via translator, lauded the progress in U.S.-China relations in the period since then, saying “”our two countries have never enjoyed such broad common interests and shouldered such common responsibilities as we do today,” and characterized the relationship as one in which one side’s gain doesn’t mean another side’s loss.

Earlier this week, U.S. senators had pushed for legislation sanctioning China over the ongoing dispute over its currency, which U.S. officials have said is artificially devalued.

Hu touched briefly on another controversial topics, saying “Taiwan and Tibet issues concern China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” adding that due to cultural and historical differences it is “only normal we have some disagreements and frictions.”

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