News / Asia

Obama Meets China's President, Germany's Merkel at G20 Summit

US President Barack Obama arrives at a reception for the G20 Summit in Seoul, South Korea,  Thursday, Nov. 11, 2010.
US President Barack Obama arrives at a reception for the G20 Summit in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, Nov. 11, 2010.

Leaders of the G20 advanced and developing economies will meet Friday for the final day of the G20 summit in Seoul.

On Thursday, President Barack Obama held wide-ranging talks with China's President Hu Jintao and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. In brief remarks before their meeting, President Obama and President Hu made no specific mention of their dispute over Beijing's currency policies, a major issue both bilaterally and for the G20.

President Obama said the U.S. and China are seeing significant progress on a range of issues, and have a special obligation to ensure strong, balanced and sustained growth.  President Hu said China stands ready to work with the U.S. to increase dialogue and cooperation.

Further details emerged later from U.S. officials.  White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said the currency issue was by far the bulk of the meeting.

China has been criticized for keeping the value of the yuan artificially low against the dollar and other currencies in an effort to help Chinese exports.  U.S. officials stressed before the G20 summit that the dispute over Beijing's currency policies would not be resolved in Seoul and would require additional efforts with Beijing.

In a news conference with South Korean President Lee Myung-bak Thursday, Mr. Obama reiterated his concern about the dispute, while not specifically naming China.

"If individual countries are engaging in practices that are purposely designed to boost their exports at the expense of others, that can contribute problems as opposed to solving them," the president said. 

Treasury Undersecretary for International Affairs Lael Brainard said President Obama noted the importance of China continuing to move its exchange rate, while the Chinese leader said there has been progress on the rate and, once again, stressed a strong commitment to the more flexible valuation regime introduced this year.

On other matters, Jeff Bader, senior director for Asian Affairs at the National Security Council, said the two also discussed North Korea, Iran, and Sudan, as well as human rights.  On Sudan, Bader said Mr. Obama urged President Hu to use China's influence to help ensure that referendums set to take place in January occur as scheduled.

Bader also said Mr. Obama emphasized the importance of freedom of expression and voiced the hope that people who are imprisoned for actions of political advocacy will be released. Bader's comments did not indicate if the president specifically mentioned the case of Liu Xiaobo, the jailed dissident who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize last month.

U.S. officials say President Obama's talks Thursday with German Chancellor Merkel focused on the agenda for next week's NATO summit in Lisbon, though they also discussed Afghanistan, the Middle East, and counterterrorism efforts.

Before the meeting, the president said that as two of the world's largest economies, the United States and Germany must make sure to work for balanced and sustainable growth. Merkel spoke of the need to send a good signal for global growth.

Leaders of the 20 leading economies gather Thursday evening over dinner and then hold more meetings Friday. Their goal is to build a consensus on ways to improve global economic growth and avoiding trade protectionism.

You May Like

Video Snowstorm Sweeps Northeastern US

'This is nothing like we feared it would be,' New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says; he had warned storm could be one of worst in city history More

Millions of Displaced Nigerians Struggle With Daily Existence

Government acknowledges over a million people displaced in 2014 due to fight against Boko Haram insurgency More

Facebook: Internal Error to Blame for Outages

Temporary outage appeared to spill over and temporarily slow or block traffic to other major Internet sites More

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.
Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visiti
X
Aru Pande
January 26, 2015 9:33 PM
U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visit

U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video US, EU Threaten New Russia Sanctions Over Ukraine

U.S. President Barack Obama has blamed Russia for an attack by Ukrainian separatists that left dozens dead in the port of Mariupol and cast further doubt on the viability of last year’s cease-fire with the Kyiv government. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington.
Video

Video White House Grapples With Yemen Counterterrorism Strategy

Reports say the U.S. has carried out a drone strike on suspected militants in Yemen, the first after President Barack Obama offered reassurances the U.S. is continuing its counterterrorism operations in the country. The future of those operations has been in question following the collapse last week of Yemen’s government. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Kerry Warns Against Violence in Nigeria Election

US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Nigeria Sunday in a show of the level of concern within the U.S. and the international community over next month’s presidential election. Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Saudi, Yemen Developments Are Sudden Complications for Obama

The death of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and the collapse of Yemen’s government have cast further uncertainty on U.S. efforts to fight militants in the Middle East and also contain Iran’s influence in the region. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports on the new complications facing the Obama administration and its Middle East policy.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid