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Sino-US HR differences remain

world Updated: Jan 20, 2011 14:30 IST

PTI
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The US and China have failed to bridge their differences on the pressing issue of human rights during key talks between Presidents Barack Obama and Hu Jintao that also dealt with Tibet, though they announced a slew of trade deals worth over $45 billion despite a deep divide on economic matters.

Obama urged Hu, who is on a four-day State Visit to the US, to have dialogue with representatives of the Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama to address concerns of the people of Tibet.

"Even as we, the United States, recognise that Tibet is part of the People's Republic of China, the United States continues to support further dialogue between the government of China and the representatives of the Dalai Lama to resolve concerns and differences, including the preservation of the religious and cultural identity of the Tibetan people," Obama said at a joint news conference with Hu at the White House after their talks last evening.

The Tibet issue along with that of the human rights was candidly raised by Obama and his team during talks with the Chinese delegation led by Hu.

Ahead of the Obama-Hu talks, as many as 39 Tibetan associations and support groups in the US urged Obama in a letter to raise the issue of Tibet with Hu.

A number of Tibetan organisations also held a day-long demonstration in front of the White House protesting against the alleged Chinese brutalities in Tibet.

Hu said there were disagreements between China and the United States on the issue of human rights, but China was willing to engage in dialogue and exchanges with it on the basis of mutual respect and the principle of non-interference in each other's internal affairs.

"In this way, we will be able to further increase our mutual understanding, reduce our disagreements and expand our common ground," he asserted.

The Chinese President also acknowledged that a lot needs to be done in his country on human rights.

On the trade front where the two sides have major differences on issues like currency, the US and Chinese companies announced deals worth over $45 billion, including one for sale of 200 Boeing aeroplanes valued at $19 billion.

The deals would help support an estimated 2,35,000 jobs in the US, said a White House fact-sheet.

"These cross-border collaborations, both public and private, underpin the expanding US-China commercial partnership, contributing to economic growth and development in both countries," it said.

The deals cut across sectors as varied as auto parts and agriculture. In addition, 11 investment contracts worth $3.24 billion were signed.