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Odishatv Bureau
Washington: Ahead of President Hu Jintao`s state visit here next week, the US has said it is aware of apprehensions of Asian countries about emergence of an assertive China and insisted that it would take all necessary steps to protect their security interests while trying to develop its ties with Beijing.

This was stated by US National Security Adviser Ton Donilon during a White House briefing yesterday, while speaking on broad contours of the American relationship with the second largest economy of the world, ranging from Sino-US economic and military ties to global issues of North Korea and Iran and those related to human rights.

Donilon bifurcated the Sino-US ties in four baskets. "The first basket is clearly the overall relationship, its purpose, where are the areas of cooperation; do we have the right mechanisms in place; and again, and how we see that relationship developing over the next 10 and 15 and 20 years."

"We are going about this in a steady, careful, dynamic way. We are engaged in how to best pursue a positive, cooperative and contemplative relationship with China, pursuing our interests ... (that) we think are in the interest of the globe on so-called cross-cutting issues," he said.

The basket two would be the security and political issues, he said, adding that prominent among them are Iran, North Korea and Sudan; besides re-establishment of military-to -military relationship. "We have spent an enormous amount of time with the Chinese during the course of this administration and we`ve actually made quite a bit of progress."

The third basket includes economic issues. "There`s obviously the macroeconomic aspects, currency appreciation and rebalancing efforts that we`ve been working on bilaterally with the Chinese, but also in the context of multilateral organisations like the G20. There`s a whole basket of access issues, business practice issues," he said.

"Fourth basket is cross-cutting so called global issues of special concern. Human rights would fall into that category," Donilon said, adding that the US does raise these issues with China.

"The President stays well informed about the dynamics around these issues in China, and indeed asked for a set of outside experts to come in yesterday, as we said. Third, you saw the President speak out at the time that the Nobel Committee awarded (jailed Chinese dissident) Liu Xiaobo the Nobel Prize, and so speaking out publicly on these issues is also important," he noted.

Acknowledging that the US relationship with China is central to its policies in Asia Pacific and also for stability in that region, Donilon, without naming any country, said the US is aware of the apprehensions of other Asian nations about emergence of an assertive China and assured that it would take all necessary steps to protect their security interests, while trying to develop its ties with Beijing.

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