Keep off Tibet, Taiwan: China tells US‎

China has expressed its wish to forge a close strategic relationship with the US, but wants the Obama administration to keep off its twin concerns - Taiwan and Tibet.

This was one of the seven proposals China made at the on-going second round of China-U.S. Strategic and Economic Dialogues, said Ma Zhaoxu, spokesman of the Chinese delegation attending the strategic track of S&ED.

Chinese President Hu Jintao was speaking Monday in Beijing at the start of the talks with senior U.S. officials, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.

At the opening ceremony, Hu gave a hint of the resistance American officials might face if they raise Taiwan or Tibet. He referred twice to China's "core interests," a phrase coined by Beijing to emphasize the importance of its claims to sovereignty over Tibet, self-ruled Taiwan and vast, disputed swathes of the South China Sea.

Tensions flared between Beijing and Washington in the first months of 2010, when China denounced U.S. criticism of its Internet censorship, Washington's arms sales to Taiwan, and Obama's meeting with the Dalai Lama, Tibet's exiled leader.

Some information for this report was provided by PTI, AP and Xinhua.