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U.S., China set up presidential hotline

July 12, 2013 at 11:44 AM   |   Comments

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WASHINGTON, July 12 (UPI) -- The U.S. and Chinese governments agreed to set up a hotline to facilitate communications at the presidential level, the State Department said Friday.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry hosted Chinese delegates in Washington this week for the fifth annual strategic and economic dialogue. Talks in Washington were billed as a follow up to June meetings between Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Barack Obama.

Both sides expressed a common concern over the North Korean nuclear threat. Tensions lingered over rival cyberespionage claims, though both sides this week were engaged in cybersecurity talks through a bilateral working group.

The State Department said both sides committed to raise their partnership to a new level by strengthening the military-to-military relationship.

Both sides "decided to establish a hotline between the special representatives of the presidents in order to facilitate communication," the State Department said.

Commentary Friday from China's official Xinhua News Agency echoed statements from U.S. officials describing the talks as friendly.

"Mindful of the past, the two sides strived to move beyond the idea of a conflict between rising and established powers as they tried to find new ways of doing things," Xinhua said.

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