China, U.S. agree on denuclearization of N. Korea during high-level talks

2013-07-12 02:16:58 GMT2013-07-12 10:16:58(Beijing Time)

Wrapping up two days of high-level talks in Washington Thursday, the United States and China again found themselves on the same page concerning the general goal of denuclearizing North Korea.

The two sides also announced plans to resume negotiations on a bilateral investment treaty, which Washington expects will help American investors make in roads into the Chinese market.

At the end of the fifth Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED), top delegates openly traded thinly-veiled accusations on some sensitive issues.

Briefing on the results of the talks, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns expressed disappointment over China's handling of fugitive Edward Snowden.

Snowden, a former U.S. spy agency contractor, fled to Hong Kong after disclosing U.S. surveillance program secrets. He was allowed to leave Hong Kong and is now hiding at a Moscow airport.

"We were disappointed with how the authorities in Beijing and Hong Kong handled the Snowden case, which undermined our effort to build the trust needed to manage difficult issues," Burns told reporters. He joined the Thursday session on behalf of Secretary of State John Kerry, whose wife is sick.

China's top representative, State Councilor Yang Jiechi, said the handling of the case was "beyond reach" as it happened in semi-autonomous Hong Kong.

This week's S&ED came about a month after U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping met in California.

The leaders agreed to push for the denuclearization of North Korea, as many said the North Korea issue is a relatively easy agenda item in comparison with other thorny concerns.


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