US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice left Beijing calling US-Sino relations positive and reiterating Washington's view that China is not a threat.
Despite rows over Chinese textile exports, the surging US trade deficit with China and the Chinese currency's inflexibility, Rice, who is on a four-nation Asian tour that takes her next to Thailand, said relations were "complex" but good.
"There are many extremely positive elements. I still think that this relationship has a great momentum. It still has more positives than negatives," Rice told a news briefing after meeting Chinese leaders.
At the same time, Rice said she raised concerns over China's military development. "(But) this does not mean that we view China as a threat,' she said Sunday.
Still, tensions with Taiwan remain a worry, Rice said, urging Beijing to reach out to the Taiwan authorities.
In response, Chinese President Hu Jintao told Rice Beijing was determined to improve cross-strait relations, but also urged Washington to remain vigilant for "secessionist " forces pushing for independence, the Xinhua news agency reported.
The effects of Asia's largest economy were also high on the talks agenda, with US lawmakers and businesses stepping up pressure on China recently over the trade deficit and its pegged currency, which the US blames for giving China an unfair trade advantage and contributing to the loss of US jobs.
The aggressive bid by Chinese oil giant China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC) for California-based Unocal has sparked further US worries of China's growing economic clout.
"A growing Chinese economy is a good thing. (But) it needs to do so within the context of rules," Rice said Sunday.
"The rules-based WTO framework into which China has entered is the only way to assure that an economy of this size has a good effect on the international economy as a whole."
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said the two countries should strictly abide by World Trade Organization regulations and resolve problems relating to trade and the economy through dialogue and friendly consultation.
Rice said the US welcomes a strong Chinese economy and believes China's economic development will benefit global economic growth.
She said she emphasized, particularly to Premier Wen Jiabao, the importance of safeguarding intellectual property rights.
Yet while the Chinese economy is transitioning in ways "that are sometimes problematic" for the American economy, Rice said trade ties are still "very healthy, robust and active".
China's cooperation in fighting terrorism and in helping to convince North Korea to return to multilateral nuclear crisis talks later this month further boosted bilateral ties, Rice said.
"The relationship between China and the United States is a complex one. Our goal is to see the rise of a China that is a positive force in international politics," she said.
President Hu said China highly valued its relations with the United States, adding that "China is ready to work along with the United States to strengthen dialogue, mutual trust and cooperation, respect and care for each other's concerns, in an effort to make the bilateral relations achieve greater progress," Xinhua reported.
Rice's visit to China is her second in three months. As well as Thailand, she will also make stops in Japan and South Korea.
secessionist : an advocate of secessionism（分离论者）