LONDON, April 1 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Hu Jintao and his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama agreed to work together to build a positive, cooperative and comprehensive relationship in the 21st century when they met here Wednesday.
Hu said China-U.S. ties have got off to a good start since Obama took office. "I have been keeping close relations with Obama and the foreign ministers of both countries have exchanged visits in a short time," he said.
The current international situation is undergoing complicated and profound changes, and the international financial crisis continues to spread and go deeper, he said, adding that global challenges are markedly increasing.
China and the United States share more extensive common interests in tackling the financial crisis, striving to recover global economic growth, dealing with international and regional issues and safeguarding world peace and security, the Chinese president said.
He said China and the United States need to view each other from a positive perspective and push forward dialogue and cooperation with positive moves despite the differences in their social systems, historical background, cultural tradition and phases of development.
The two countries should also work together to tackle the complicated and thorny issues facing the humanity in the 21st century to achieve mutually beneficial cooperation and common development, he said.
China and the United States should deepen exchanges and cooperation in economy, fighting terrorism, non-proliferation, law enforcement, energy, climate change, science and technology, education, culture, healthcare, and boost exchanges between the military of the two nations, he said. The two countries should also strengthen communication and coordination on international and regional affairs and global issues, he added.
Hu invited Obama to visit China in the second half of this year, and Obama accepted the invitation with pleasure.
This was the first meeting between the two heads of state since the new U.S. administration came into office in January.
The two presidents had an "extensive" exchange of views on bilateral relations and global issues of common interest and agreed to work toward an enhanced bilateral relationship, the White House said in a statement.
The two leaders decided to establish the mechanism of "China-U.S. Strategic and Economic Dialogues," and agreed that the first round of the dialogues will be held in Washington this summer.
Speaking at the start of their meeting, Hu said: "Good relations with the United States are not only in the interests of the two peoples, but also beneficial to peace, stability and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region, and the world at large."
China is willing to work with the United States to make even greater progress in advancing their bilateral relations, Hu said, adding he hoped to establish "good working relations and personal friendship" with Obama.
The U.S. president said the relations between the United States and China have become "extremely constructive." "Our economic relations are very strong."
"I said publicly our relations are not only important for citizens of the two countries, but also help set the stage for how the world deals with a host of challenges," he said.
"China is a great power and has a long and extraordinary history," Obama said.
The Chinese president also said during the meeting that no matter how the situation across the Taiwan Strait evolves, China will steadfastly adhere to the one-China policy and resolutely oppose "Taiwan independence," "One China, one Taiwan" and "Two Chinas."
Obama said the U.S. government is committed to the one-China policy and the three Chinese-U.S. joint communiques, adding that this stand will not change.
The United States welcomes and supports efforts to improve relations across the strait and hopes for greater progress in the relations, the U.S. president said.
Observers say the China-U.S. relationship is one of the most important bilateral relationships in the world in the 21st century, and amid the spreading international financial crisis and mounting global challenges, it is all the more important to further develop China-U.S. relations.
Over the years, leaders of the two countries have maintained close communication on major issues concerning bilateral ties through mutual visits, meetings, telephone calls and correspondence. These exchanges have given a strong boost to the sustained, sound and steady growth of bilateral relations.
The Chinese and U.S. leaders met in London on the sidelines of a Group of 20 (G20) summit on the financial crisis slated for Thursday.
The London summit brings together leaders of the G20, and representatives of international organizations and financial institutions to work to restore stability and stimulate global economic growth.
The summit will focus on enhancing the coordination of macroeconomic policies, pushing for necessary reforms in the world financial system and stabilizing global financial markets.
Chinese Vice Foreign Minister He Yafei said last month that President Hu will deliver a speech at the summit to elaborate China's opinions and proposition.
China endeavors to push for positive and pragmatic results at the London summit, He said.
The G20 consists of China, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, Britain, the United States, and the European Union.