Article published on the 2009-11-16 Latest update 2009-11-16 17:08 TU
U.S. President Barack Obama is thanked after holding a town hall meeting with future Chinese leaders at the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum in Shanghai, 16 November 2009.
Obama’s first formal US-China states visit is underway after the US President arrived in Beijing on Monday from Shanghai where he had addressed the people on Sunday through a town-hall-style meeting with students.
Obama referred to China as a "majestic country", saying good relations between Beijing and Washington could lead to a more prosperous and peaceful world. He also called for observance of “universal rights” of political expression, religious freedom and free information.
“They should be available to all people, including ethnic and religious minorities, whether they are in the United States, China or any nation,” said Obama.
Barack Obama also answered questions from an audience that the White House described as composed of “future Chinese leaders”.
The address was broadcast on local Shanghai television and the Whitehouse streamed the event on its website in a bid to attract hundreds of millions of internet users in China.
In Tokyo on Saturday, Obama had stated in a speech that the US welcomes China’s rising political and economic status.
“The United States does not seek to contain China, nor does a deeper relationship with China mean a weakening of our bilateral alliances," he said. "On the contrary, the rise of a strong prosperous China can be a source of strength for the community of the nations.”
However China has criticised certain measures taken by the US as protectionist. In recent months the US has imposed tariffs on Chinese tyres and preliminary duties on some steel products.
China’s Commerce Ministry has also deemed “unfair” US pressure to have the yuan appreciate while continuing to allow the dollar to drop.
Ministry Spokesman Yao Jian said: “It is necessary to create for enterprises a stable and predictable environment, including [stable] economic and foreign exchange policies, to help the global economy grow steadily and China’s exports recover.”
US Commerce Secretary Gary Locke rejected the claim, saying the United States was not engaged in increased protectionism.
"President Obama has indicated many times that we cannot engage in protectionism. Protectionism invites retaliation which then results in a trade war and in a trade war everyone loses."
2009-11-08 17:07 TU
2009-10-21 08:41 TU