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Wen calls for focus on common interests

Chinese workers wait for customers at their roadside carwash in downtown Beijing January 9, 2012. China is raising minimum wages in some key provinces as local officials try to combat labour shortages and growing worker unrest. UPI/Stephen Shaver
Chinese workers wait for customers at their roadside carwash in downtown Beijing January 9, 2012. China is raising minimum wages in some key provinces as local officials try to combat labour shortages and growing worker unrest. UPI/Stephen Shaver | License Photo

BEIJING, Jan. 12 (UPI) -- China and the United States, focusing on their core interests, should resolve their differences appropriately, Premier Wen Jiabao said.

Wen -- in talks with U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner during Geithner's China visit that ended Thursday -- spoke of the need for greater economic and trade cooperation, China Daily reported.

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Geithner, who arrived in Japan Thursday, had been in China to seek cooperation from major importers of Iranian oil to cut their purchases as part of an effort to convince Iran to give up its nuclear program. Chinese officials did not go along with the proposal.

Wen's remarks were meant to promote U.S.-China economic cooperation despite their major economic, currency and trade frictions.

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"China insists that dialogue is better than confrontation, cooperation is better than containment," Wen was quoted as saying during his meeting with Geithner. "We should take care of the core interests and concerns of each other, and resolve friction appropriately."

The China Daily report quoted The Wall Street Journal as saying U.S. President Barack Obama planned to set up a task force to monitor China's compliance with US trade rules. China is seen by the United States as dumping its imports at below cost price with the help government subsidies.

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Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping, expected to become the next president, was quoted as telling Geithner, "China is willing to expand economic and financial cooperation with the U.S., resolving friction through consultation rather than politicizing economic issues."

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Geithner said the United States agreed with China on developing "closer" economic and trade cooperation, promoting economic growth for the two economies and maintaining global financial stability.

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