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China Calls for Stepping Up Dialogue with United States: Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said on Sept. 5 the United States and China need to "step up" communications on a series of hot-button issues, including the Obama Administration's new Asia-Pacific-focused defense strategy, nuclear weapons in Iran, and the turmoil in Syria. Appearing before the press with State Secretary Hillary Clinton in Beijing during Clinton's China visit, Yang said China has "always hoped that the United States would size up the situation [in the Asia-Pacific] and make sure that its policy is in conformity with the trends of our current era and the general wish of countries in the region to seek peace, development, and cooperation." A policy, he said, China shares. On Iran, Yang said despite a difference of opinion with the United States over the use of sanctions, "China stands ready to stay in close contact, communication, and coordination . . . on the Iranian nuclear issue." Yang also acknowledged the complexity of the situation in Syria. He said China continues to emphasize—not unlike the United States—a "cessation of fire and an end to violence," something that he said should be accomplished through political dialogue. (Clinton-Yang transcript)