US President Barack Obama has sat down in a meeting with the next leader of China to discuss matters regarding same trade rules, human rights policies, military intentions and perhaps, to also gauge what the next administration will be like.
China’s vice president, Xi Jinping, was welcomed in the White House as part of a carefully planned tour that includes a Pentagon visit complete with a 19-gun salute.
The 58-year old Xi is in line to lead the ruling Communist Party this year before he assumes presidency of China in March 2013.
Obama was apparently frank with Xi Jinping, pushing him on sensitive issues such as human rights and economy as well as those concerning Syria and Iran.
The Chinese leader did not directly address Obama’s veiled criticisms on their meeting in front of the media but said that he is looking forward to building a ‘cooperative partnership based on mutual respect’.
Xi said that his trip is not only for political purposes but also to establish a deeper friendship with the American.
US announced that would like to work alongside China in ensuring that everyone is following the same rules on global economic system, with special attention on balanced trade flow.
US seems to be disappointed in China’s vetoing, along with Russia, of UN resolution against Syria’s leader Bashar al-Assad, emphasizing a sharp policy difference between the two.
The Congress has openly expressed its worry that Chinese practices like keeping their currency’s value ‘artificially’ low than the dollar puts US companies at a disadvantage.
The two leaders are in agreement that they should work in restoring trust between their countries. This is in connection to their strained military ties — with China building up its force and US reasserting itself in Asia-Pacific.
Obama has said US welcomes China’s ‘peaceful rise’ but also cautioned that the ‘friction’ will stay present in a growing military and economic rivalry between the 2 nations.
Xi has cautioned US officials, in order to avoid further damage and disturbance in their relations, not to meddle with how they respond to delicate issues such as those concerning Tibet and Taiwan.
Current Chinese President Hu Jintao has made similar statements in his visit to Washington last year, recognizing that China does not necessarily share the West’s human rights concepts and believing that China’s national characteristics should be taken into consideration.