Hu admits `sensitive issues` ahead of US visit

Hu did not spell out which particular issues he was referring to.

Washington: Chinese President Hu Jintao acknowledged Sunday ahead of a state visit that the United States and China have "sensitive issues" and differences that needed to be properly managed.

In written replies to questions provided by The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post, Hu did not spell out which particular issues he was referring to.

But gripes over the value of the yuan, trade disputes, US arms sales to Taiwan, the Dalai Lama`s US visit, the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, Internet freedom and naval rivalries in the Pacific, have all dogged relations.

"There is no denying that there are some differences and sensitive issues between us," Hu wrote in response to a question about his views on the current status and future plane of US-China relations.

"Both sides should keep to the right direction in the development of our relations, increase exchanges, enhance mutual trust, seek common ground while reserving differences, properly manage differences and sensitive issues and jointly promote the long-term, sound and steady development of China-US relations," the Chinese leader added.

President Barack Obama will welcome Hu on Wednesday at the White House with the full pomp of a 21-gun salute and a black-tie state dinner, unlike former president George W. Bush who reserved state visits for leaders of democracies.

In a wide-ranging speech on Friday, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged China to free dissidents and improve treatment of minorities, pledging not to shy away from disagreements when President Hu Jintao pays a state visit.

Bureau Report