BEIJING - US Secretary of State Hillary of Clinton told Chinese President Hu Jintao on Friday that relations between their two countries were the strongest they had ever been, even as the two countries are engaged in a spat over China's treatment of a blind dissident.

"We believe that the China US relationship is stronger than it's ever been," Clinton said during a meeting at the Great Hall of the People.

"We have developed a very open and honest relationship where we can discuss our differences, and we remain committed to bridging those differences whenever and wherever possible."

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