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China, US should expand common interests: Premier Li

Updated: Mar 13,2014 4:13 PM     Xinhua

Premier Li Keqiang speaks at a press conference after the closing meeting of the second annual session of China’s 12th National People’s Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, March 13, 2014. [Photo/Xinhua]

BEIJING - China and the United States should expand common interests while respecting each other’s core interests and major concerns and properly managing differences to raise the level of bilateral relationship, Premier Li Keqiang said in Beijing on March 13.

The Sino-US relationship is in essence the one between the largest developing country and the largest developed country in the world, Li told a press conference after the conclusion of the annual legislative session.

Last year, President Xi Jinping and President Barack Obama had a meeting in California and reached consensus of building a new model of major-country relationship between China and the United States.

The new model of relationship has a defining feature of non-conflict and win-win cooperation, Li said.

Due to different historical and cultural backgrounds and development stages, it is natural for the two countries to have some differences on certain matters and frictions in cooperation, but these are just “pains” amid growing cooperation, Li said.

“As long as the two sides respect each other’s core interests and major concerns, properly manage their differences and engage in equal consultations, and in particular, continue to expand their common interests, the two countries will be able to further raise the level of their relationship,” said Li.

The common interests between China and the United States far outweigh their differences, said Li, adding the volume of bilateral trade registered over $520 billion last year.

“There is much more that we can do to further unleash the potential of Sino-US cooperation. We need to make the most of our complementarity,” said Li.

“The wise people will seek their common interests, while the unwise ones will focus on their differences,” said Li,citing a Chinese saying.

Whatever change may take place, it should be conducive to both countries and the sound and steady development of Sino-US ties, said Li.

“China and the US need to focus more on common ground in pursuit of long-term benefits,” Li said.