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Hu's visit to add new momentum to China-US relations: US experts
2006/04/14

    WASHINGTON, April 14 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Hu Jintao's upcoming visit will add new momentum to China-U.S. relations as both sides are expecting the visit to be a success, a group of leading U.S. experts for China affairs said.

    "The summit between President Hu Jintao and President George W. Bush will surely become a success. If leaders of the two countries don't have such will, there won't be such a summit," David M. Lampton, Director of China Studies at the Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School, told Xinhua in a recent interview.

    From the U.S. point of view, China-U.S. relations have been a "bright spot" in the Bush administration's foreign policy during past three years and the U.S. government will continue to keep the "bright spot," he said.

    Meanwhile, in Lampton's opinion, China's present basic strategy is to create a stable external environment for its internal development.

    As a result, both sides hope the visit will become a great success, he said.

    Lampton said Hu's visit will present a great opportunity to Americans to have a better understanding of China's leaders and China's view about the future.

    History has proven that it is crucial for China and the United States to keep dialogues at the top level and other levels and to coordinate frequently with each other on important issues, he said.

    Lampton said despite some uncertainties, he believes the two countries will have a more fruitful and more "reasonably cooperative" relationship in the future.

    Ted Galen Carpenter, vice president for defense and foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute, a Washington think tank, also believes Hu's visit will be a success as "both sides will emphasize the positive."

    "Both China and the United States hope Hu's visit will add new momentum to improve and consolidate bilateral relations," said Bonnie S. Glaser, an expert in China and Asian affairs at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).

    She said every previous Sino-U.S. summit has provided opportunities to improve bilateral relations.

    Although the two countries may not sign many agreements during Hu's visit, the two presidents will have a good chance to learn about each other's true intentions, as well as their respective opinions about the future, said Glaser.

    She also expects the two presidents to discuss how to achieve a win-win situation through cooperation within the international system.

    In Glaser's view, China-U.S. relations are very complicated, containing both positive and negative elements.

    However, since the two sides are conducting cooperation in various areas and at deferent levels, and are working together to expand consensus and enhance mutual trust, she said no one in the Bush administration should regard China as a threat.

    In all, Glaser said she is optimistic that the two countries will handle their relations very well in the future.

    James Liley, a former U.S. ambassador to China, told Xinhua that since it is Hu's first state visit to the United States, the summit between the two presidents is very important in its own right.

    He said that the current relations between China and the United States are sound, though certain concerns do exist.

    Therefore, as a Chinese proverb goes, it is important for the two sides to "seek consensus while reserving differences," said Liley.

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