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China urges U.S. to be more objective ahead of key meeting

BEIJING (Reuters) - China and the United States need to "plant more flowers, not thorns" in their relationship and Washington needs to have a more objective view about China, state media on Thursday quoted President Xi Jinping as saying ahead of a key meeting.

Xi, speaking to former U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson ahead of next week's China-U.S. Strategic and Economic Dialogue, said he hoped both countries could use such gatherings to keep "injecting positive energy" into the relationship.

"The two sides should expand common interests, deepen cooperation, plant more flowers, not thorns, clear the interference and avoid suspicion and confrontation," Xi was quoted as saying by the official China Daily.

China would stick to the path of peaceful development and shoulder its international duties, Xi added.

"We hope the U.S. will objectively view China's basic national conditions as well as its domestic and foreign policies," he said.

China and the United States, as the world's two largest economies, have close trade and business ties and work together on important international issues like North Korea.

But they also have deep differences, over everything from human rights to the value of the Chinese currency.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, who will attend the Strategic and Economic Dialogue in Beijing, said on Tuesday the yuan's value was a "very big issue" for the United States and that the currency needed to appreciate more.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is also attending, and will likely have to address Chinese concerns over what Beijing views as Washington's support for Japan, Vietnam and the Philippines over their territorial disputes with China.

China's increasingly assertive tone in the disputed East and South China Seas, as well as its rising military expenditure, have rattled nerves in the region and in Washington.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Nick Macfie)

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