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Bush And Hu Fail To Agree On Iran, Trade

U.S. President George W. Bush and Chinese President Hu Jintao at an arrival ceremony on the south lawn of the White House today (epa) April 20, 2006 -- U.S. President George W. Bush and Chinese President Hu Jintao agreed their countries should to cooperate more closely, but they failed to break new ground on trade and nuclear tensions with Iran and North Korea.

At a White House meeting today, Hu promised to take more steps to liberalize the exchange rate of the Chinese currency the yuan, but he gave no specifics. The United States says the yuan is artificially undervalued, making Chinese imports to the U.S. cheaper.

On the Iran nuclear controversy, Bush indicated there was no progress on agreeing how to stop Iran enriching uranium. Bush favors sanctions, but the Chinese want to limit activity to diplomacy.

Washington also wants Beijing to use its influence with North Korea to curb its nuclear program. But Hu said there are difficulties.

"The six-party talks have run into some difficulties at the moment," Hu said. "I hope the parties will be able to further display flexibility, work together, and create the necessary conditions for the early resumption of talks."

Earlier, at a ceremony welcoming Hu to the White House, Bush linked mutual prosperity to mutual security needs, saying the two countries will deepen cooperation in addressing threats to global security.

Hu's presence in Washington led to a noisy demonstration outside the White House.

(compiled from agency reports)