News / USA

    Obama, Hu Have Candid Talks on Human Rights, Other Issues

    President Barack Obama (r) during a joint news conference with China's President Hu Jintao in the East Room of the White House, 19 Jan, 2011
    President Barack Obama (r) during a joint news conference with China's President Hu Jintao in the East Room of the White House, 19 Jan, 2011

    President Barack Obama and China's President Hu Jintao have held wide ranging talks at the White House on the first full day of Mr. Hu's state visit.   The two men used a joint news conference to talk about trade relations, security issues, and human rights.

    The talks covered the full range of issues in a relationship both leaders described as marked by great possibilities for cooperation on common interests, but also issues on which they disagree.

    Speaking to reporters following bilateral talks and a meeting he and President Hu had with American and Chinese business executives, President Obama said it has been shown that when the U.S. and China cooperate they can achieve substantial benefits.

    Mr. Obama said he told President Hu that the Chinese currency, the yuan, remains under-valued and requires further adjustment so China can boost domestic demand and move faster toward a more market-oriented economy.

    The president said the U.S. recognizes the need to spend less and export more, and spoke about hopes for China further loosening controls on its currency.

    "We will continue to look for the value of China's currency to be increasingly driven by the market which will help ensure that no nation has an undue economic advantage," said President Obama.

    Among a wide range of regional and global issues, the two leaders discussed the situation on the Korean peninsula, cooperation on sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program, and the recent referendum in southern Sudan.  

    A key focus was human rights.  Earlier, at the formal welcoming ceremony for President Hu,  President Obama issued a strong public call for respect for universal rights.

    Mr. Obama later told reporters he made clear to President Hu the U.S. position on human rights, including freedom of speech, press, assembly, association and demonstration, and religion.

    "The U.S. speaks up for these freedoms and the dignity of every human being, not only because it is part of who we are as Americans but we do so because we believe that by upholding these universal rights all nations including China will ultimately be more prosperous and successful," said Obama.

    President Hu issued a strong defense of Beijing's policies, saying China is always committed to protection of human rights.  But he acknowledged that China, as a developing country still in stages of reform, knows more progress needs to be made.

    "China still faces many challenges in economic and social development, and a lot still needs to be done in China in terms of human rights," said President Hu.

    Neither leader mentioned, nor did any reporter specifically ask about, whether they had discussed Liu Xiaobo, the imprisoned dissident who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

    Across the street from the White House, a collection of groups protested Beijing's policies on everything from Tibet to religious freedom.

    President Obama said on Wednesday that China's peaceful rise as a strong, prosperous and successful nation is good for the United States and good for the world.

    As he and President Hu met with business leaders, Mr. Obama referred to a need to move away from stereotypes about the U.S.- China trade relationship, and focused on the goal of expanding U.S. exports to China.

    "With China's growing middle class, I believe that over the coming years we can more than double our exports to China and create more jobs here in the United States, he said.

    The White House issued a statement announcing a package of export deals to China worth about $45 billion, helping to support according to the White House an estimated 235,000 U.S. jobs.

    As President Obama and President Hu were meeting at the White House, China's economic and human rights policies were being criticized in a hearing of the House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs.

    Its chairwoman, Florida Republican Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, criticized Beijing's policies on Iran and North Korea, and the South China Sea and for its treatment of Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo.

    The committee's ranking Democrat, Representative Howard Berman, praised China for its cooperation on sanctions against Iran, but said there is ample evidence that Chinese entities continue to invest in Iran’s energy sector.

    You May Like

    Native Americans Ask: What About Our Water Supply?

    They say they have been facing a dangerous water contaminant for decades - uranium – but the problem has received far less attention than water contamination by lead in Flint, Michigan

    Pakistan's President Urges Nation Not to Celebrate Valentine's Day

    Mamnoon Hussain criticizes Valentine's Day, which falls on Sunday this year, as a Western import that threatens to undermine the Islamic values of Pakistan

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.