Excerpts from Hu Jintao interview

Sunday, January 16, 2011; 6:47 PM

Following are excerpts from written answers by President Hu Jintao of China to questions submitted by The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal, as translated by the Chinese government. A full transcript is posted at washingtonpost.com.

1. How do you view the current state of China-U.S. relationship? What do you see as the most promising areas of mutually beneficial cooperation? . . . What do you see as the major challenges?

HU: . . . The strategic significance and global impact of China-US relations have been on the rise.

China and the United States have major influence in international affairs and shoulder important responsibilities in upholding world peace and promoting common development. Under the new circumstances, the common interests of our two countries have been growing and areas of cooperation expanding. There is great potential for our mutually beneficial cooperation both in advancing Asia-Pacific regional cooperation and in improving global economic governance and promoting sustainable growth of the world economy; both in expanding cooperation in economy and trade and in strengthening cooperation in new areas like new energy sources, clean energy, infrastructure development and aviation and space; and both in fighting terrorism and preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and in meeting challenges like natural disasters, food security and major communicable diseases.

We both stand to gain from a sound China-U.S. relationship, and lose from confrontation. We should act in the fundamental interests of our two peoples and uphold the overall interests of world peace and development. We should rise up to challenges, remove disturbances, work for shared goals and promote continuous growth of our relations. I wish to stress the following four points. First, we should increase dialogue and contact and enhance strategic mutual trust. Second, we should abandon the zero-sum Cold War mentality, view each other's development in an objective and sensible way, respect each other's choice of development path, and pursue common development through win-win cooperation. Third, we should respect each other's sovereignty, territorial integrity and development interests and properly address each other's major concerns. And fourth, we should make constant efforts to expand our converging interests so that China and the United States will be partners for cooperation in broader areas.

There is no denying that there are some differences and sensitive issues between us. Both sides should keep to the right direction in the development of our relations, increase exchanges, enhance mutual trust, seek common ground while reserving differences, properly manage differences and sensitive issues and jointly promote the long-term, sound and steady development of China-U.S. relations.

2. Despite the continuous growth of foreign investment in China, some American companies have complained about China's business climate. What steps is China taking to ensure a level playing field for U.S. and other foreign companies in China?

HU: . . . China will stay firmly committed to the basic state policy of opening-up. We will actively and effectively use foreign investment, improve its structure, diversify its form and open up more channels and sectors so as to facilitate investment. China will continue to improve laws and regulations concerning foreign investment, strengthen IPR [intellectual property rights] protection, promptly address the legitimate concerns of foreign companies and facilitate the growth of enterprises of all kinds in China by offering them a stable and transparent legal and policy environment, a consistent and open market environment as well as a standardized and efficient administrative environment.

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