News / Asia

US-China Relations to be Tested in President Obama's 2nd Year

President Obama during a town-hall meeting with college students in Shanghai (Nov 2009
President Obama during a town-hall meeting with college students in Shanghai (Nov 2009

Multimedia

Stephanie Ho

During President Barack Obama's first year in office, he made great efforts to cultivate a good relationship with China and visited the Asian nation in November.  But following public disagreements at the Copenhagen climate change summit in December and Chinese anger over an impending U.S. arms sales to Taiwan, disputes are once again threatening to overshadow the initial goodwill. 

One highlight of President Obama's trip to China was a town-hall meeting with college students in Shanghai.  The forum provided the only unscripted public event of his trip.

"Today we have a positive, constructive and comprehensive relationship that opens the door to partnership on the key global issues of our time - economic recovery, and the development of clean energy, stopping the spread of nuclear weapons and the scourge of climate change, the promotion of peace and security in Asia and around the globe," said President Obama.

Mr. Obama's three days in Beijing were largely occupied with bilateral meetings and sightseeing.  He and Chinese President Hu Jintao appeared in front of reporters once.  They both read prepared statements, but did not take any questions.

Some people in the United States were sharply critical of President Obama's China trip, saying he ignored human rights.  Others said he allowed himself to be tightly controlled by China, which is the largest foreign lender to the United States.

Some analysts say this criticism is unfair.  Peking University international studies professor Zhu Feng says China feels cheated on issues it feels are important, such as Taiwan.

"The biggest problem in U.S.-China relations is that if the United States needs China's cooperation, it should improve its treatment of China," said Zhu Feng. "The problem is that the United States has not changed its 30-year-old policy of selling arms to Taiwan."
 
For the Obama administration, the top issues include global concerns, such as Iran and North Korea, economic issues, such as frictions over trade and currency, climate change, free speech and human rights.

The American ambassador to China, Jon Huntsman, says President Obama sees US-China cooperation as essential to resolving international issues.

"Right from the beginning, there was a definition put on the U.S.-China relationship around global collaboration," said Ambassador Huntsman. "Because the president understood, rightly, that if the United States and China cannot come together and problem solve our more pressing issues of the day, no one else is going to get it done."
  
Huntsman says the two countries will continue to have disagreements.  He says the atmospherics might get challenging from time to time, but the health of the relationship will be based on whether the two countries can keep from being sidetracked by their disputes.  
 

You May Like

UN: 1 Million Somalis at Risk of Hunger

Group warns region is in dire need of humanitarian aid, with at least 200,000 children under age of five acutely malnourished as drought hits southern, central part of nation More

Human Rights Groups Allege Supression of Freedoms in Thailand

Thailand’s military, police have suppressed release of independent report assessing human rights in kingdom during first 100 days of latest coup More

Jennifer Lawrence Contacts FBI After Nude Photos Hacked

'Silver Linings Playbook' actress' photos were posted on image-sharing forum 4chan; Federal Bureau of Investigations is looking into matter 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.
Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forcesi
X
September 02, 2014 12:58 PM
A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Internet, Technology Offer New Tools for Journalists

The Internet and rapidly evolving technology is quickly changing how people receive news and how journalists deliver it. There are now more ways to tell a story than ever before. One school in Los Angeles is teaching the next generation of journalists with the help of a state-of-the-art newsroom. Elizabeth Lee has this report.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.

AppleAndroid