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Bush, Hu Pledge Cooperation During Beijing Talks


President Bush has urged Chinese President Hu Jintao to increase religious freedoms and reduce his country's trade surplus with the United States. Following their talks Sunday in Beijing at the Great Hall of the People, Mr. Hu pledged to reduce the trade imbalance through steps including currency reforms and increased protection of intellectual property rights. Both leaders stressed their joint efforts to combat the spread of bird flu, and to convince North Korea to abandon its nuclear program. President Bush also urged Beijing to allow greater "social, political and religious freedoms." Mr. Hu stressed that Chinese people can exercise their rights through elections. While in Beijing, Mr. Bush attended services at a government-approved Protestant church and went for a bicycle ride with aspiring Chinese Olympic athletes.

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