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Saturday, January 22, 2011
International

Hu wraps up historical US tour in Chicago

Chinese President Hu Jintao wraps up his U.S. visit yesterday in Chicago, Illinois, the hometown of his counterpart, President Barack Obama.

He is scheduled to visit a Chinese-owned auto parts firm, a Chinese wind energy company and the Confucius Institute -- a Chinese language and cultural education centre housed at Walter Payton College Preparatory High School.

Hu is expected to head back to Beijing around midday. The Chinese leader wrapped up his three-day visit to Washington, D.C., Thursday, telling an audience of American business leaders that Beijing is seeking closer ties and greater trust with the United States on a range of issues.

He sought to assuage concerns about China's rising economic and military power, declaring that his country "will never seek hegemony or pursue an expansionist policy."

The Chinese leader was unapologetic, however, about Beijing's position on the politically sensitive status of Tibet and Taiwan, calling it a matter of Chinese territorial integrity and a "core interest."

We are building "a socialist country under the rule of law," he asserted. He said relations between Washington and Beijing need to be governed by a belief in "equality" and "mutual respect."

Hu made his remarks at a luncheon hosted by the National Committee on US-China Relations, the U.S.-China Business Council, and several other organizations.

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