On the eve of his maiden trip to Beijing, US President Barack Obama on Saturday sought to deepen America's strategic and economic dialogue with China and improve military communications between the two countries, but refrained from making any reference to Tibet.
"The United States does not seek to contain China, nor does a deeper relationship with China mean a weakening of our bilateral alliances," Obama said in a major policy speech on Asia at the Suntory Hall in Tokyo.
On the contrary, the rise of a strong, prosperous China can be a source of strength for the community of nations, he said a day ahead of his China visit as part of the four-nation Asia tour.
However, the US President skipped making any reference to Tibet.
A close aide of Obama had recently said the President would be ready to meet the Dalai Lama "at an appropriate time," drawing a strong reaction from China which expressed its firm opposition to foreign leaders' any contact with the Tibetan spiritual leader.
About his visit to China, Obama said, "in Beijing and beyond, we will work to deepen our Strategic and Economic Dialogue, and improve communication between our militaries."
However, he warned that "we will not agree on every issue, and the United States will never waver in speaking up for the fundamental values that we hold dear - and that includes respect for the religion and cultures of all people."