Last updated: February 19. 2013 7:05PM - 272 Views

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DURING THEIR meeting on the sidelines of the East Asia Summit held in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh last week, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and U.S. President Barack Obama reaffirmed the two countries' commitment to promoting bilateral cooperation.


Given that this was their first meeting after China's leadership transition and Obama's re-election this month, the significance of their remarks go beyond the bilateral level, as they have positive implications for the world economy and the two countries' cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region.


Business, trade and finance are where the two countries' interests already converge to a large extent. Bilateral trade is likely to top $500 billion this year. Ironing out the road for greater cooperation in these fields obviously will benefit both economies.


And given the size and clout of their economies, taking concrete steps in this regard and promoting trade ties in a cordial atmosphere, rather than miring them in disputes, would inject much needed confidence in a global economic recovery.


The same principle should apply to their cooperation in the Asia-Pacific, where China hopes the United States will be constructive so the two countries can jointly contribute to regional peace and development.


As a global power eying a bigger role in Asia, the United States should make sure its involvement mitigates the tensions over maritime territorial disputes and not the opposite.


China Daily, Beijing


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