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White House National Security Advisor Tom Donilon told reporters that Obama stressed the importance of China adjusting the value of its currency, which the United States contends is deeply undervalued, and he said Obama and Wen also briefly discussed territorial disputes in the South China Sea.

China’s state broadcaster, CCTV, reported that Wen told Obama the grim global economic picture made it practical and necessary for the U.S. and China to strengthen their economic and trade relationship.

He said more trade and investment would help ease the Sino-U.S. trade imbalance. Wen also restated Beijing’s call for the U.S. to relax restrictions on high-tech exports to China, CCTV reported.

China, Wen said, had made strides in reforming its currency exchange and would continue to do so, the broadcaster said.

Later, Obama and leaders at an East Asia summit retreat raised the issue of maritime security, prompting Wen to respond. A senior U.S. administration official told reporters aboard Air Force One that Wen’s remarks signaled a gradual evolution toward resolving quarrels with Asian neighbors over the major shipping route. He said U.S. officials were encouraged by Wen’s response.

Donilon downplayed tensions and rejected suggestions that the nine-day mission in the Asia-Pacific was designed to thwart a rising China. The U.S. policy, Donilon said, was about rebalancing U.S. interests and focusing once more on the Asia-pacific region.

“This has nothing to do with isolating or containing anybody,” he said.

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Online:

Obama address: www.whitehouse.gov

GOP address: http://www.youtube.com/gopweeklyaddress