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Chinese president ends state visit to United States

Chinese President Hu Jintao left Chicago for China on Friday after concluding a state visit to the United States, during which he and his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama agreed to build a China-U.S. cooperative partnership based on mutual respect and mutual benefit.

Hu, who began his four-day visit Tuesday, had extensive and in-depth discussions with Obama at the White House on Wednesday on major bilateral, regional and world issues.

The two sides reached "important agreement on China-U.S. relations and major international and regional issues of shared interests," the Chinese president said when he and Obama met the press following their discussions.

"We both agree to further push forward the positive, cooperative and comprehensive China-U.S. relationship," Hu said, adding that both sides also pledged to forge "a China-U.S. cooperative partnership based on mutual respect and mutual benefit" for the benefit of the two countries and beyond.

he Chinese president added that he and Obama also discussed some agreements in the economic and trade area, with both sides pledging "to continue to appropriately resolve these according to the principle of mutual respect and consultation on an equal footing."

Also on Wednesday, Hu attended a lavish state dinner and a welcoming ceremony hosted by Obama.

Hu told the Americans on several occasions in Washington that the purpose of his visit to the United States was "to increase mutual trust, enhance friendship, deepen cooperation and advance the positive, cooperative and comprehensive China-U.S. relationship for the 21st century."

During Hu's visit, the two countries issued the "China-U.S. Joint Statement," which says that "China and the United States committed to work together to build a cooperative partnership based on mutual respect and mutual benefit in order to promote the common interests of both countries and to address the 21st century's opportunities and challenges."

"China and the United States are actively cooperating on a wide range of security, economic, social, energy, and environmental issues which require deeper bilateral engagement and coordination," the statement said.

On Thursday, Hu called upon the U.S. Congress to continue helping the two countries boost their relations.

Pursuing a healthy and steady development of China-U.S. ties is China's established policy and strategic choice, Hu stressed when meeting House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

Also on Thursday in Washington, Hu delivered an important speech at the welcoming luncheon hosted by friendly organizations in the United States.

To advance the sustained, sound and steady development of China-U.S. relations serves the fundamental interests of peoples of China and the United States, he said.

"It is also conducive to world peace and development," Hu said during his speech.

Hu elaborated on the domestic and foreign policies of the Chinese government and on how to advance China-U.S. relations in the new era during his speech.

"Working together hand in hand, we will build and develop a China-U.S. cooperative partnership based on mutual respect and benefit and deliver greater benefits to the people of our two countries and the world over," he said.

The Chinese president traveled to Chicago on Thursday afternoon after concluding activities in the U.S. capital.

In Chicago, Hu met local officials and visited a U.S. high school.

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