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Rediff.com  » News » Hu's visit can lay foundation of Sino-US ties, says Obama

Hu's visit can lay foundation of Sino-US ties, says Obama

Last updated on: January 20, 2011 01:10 IST

Obama throws a grand welcome for Hu

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Rediff.com's Aziz Haniffa reports on President Obama's grand welcome for Chinese premier Hu Jintao. 

President Barack Obama welcomed Chinese President Hu Jintao to the White House at an elaborate South Lawn ceremony replete with marching bands, gun salute and guard of honor on a chilly and overcast winter morning, which did not deter several hundred dignitaries and Chinese Americans to cheer enthusiastically the Chinese leader's arrival waving US and American flags.

Obama predicted Hu's visit could set the tone for the next three decades of US-China relations.

Obama said, "Three decades ago, on a January day like this, another American President stood here and welcomed another Chinese leader for the historic normalization of relations between the United States and the People's Republic of China.  On that day, Deng Xiaoping spoke of the great possibilities of cooperation between our two nations. Looking back on that winter day in 1979, it is now clear. The previous 30 years had been a time of estrangement for our two countries. The 30 years since have been a time of growing exchanges and understanding. And with this visit we can lay the foundation for the next 30 years," he added.

Obama continued that "at a time  when some doubt the benefits of cooperation between the United States and China, this visit is also a chance to demonstrate a simple truth.We have an enormous stake in each other's success.In an interconnected world, in a global economy, nations -- including our own -- will be more prosperous and more secure when we work together."

Image: US President Barack Obama and Chinese President Hu Jintao walk past guests at the South Lawn
Photographs: Jason Reed/Reuters
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'Let us seize these possibilities together'

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"The United States welcomes China's rise as a strong, prosperous and successful member of the community of nations.  Indeed, China's success has brought with it economic benefits for our people as well as yours, and our cooperation on a range of issues has helped advance stability in the Asia Pacific and in the world," he said, and added: "We also know this:  History shows that societies are more harmonious, nations are more successful, and the world is more just, when the rights and responsibilities of all nations and all people are upheld, including the universal rights of every human being."

Obama also declared, "We can learn from our people. Chinese and American students and educators, business people, tourists, researchers and scientists, including Chinese Americans who are here today -- they work together and make progress together every single day.They know that even as our nations compete in some areas, we can cooperate in so many others, in a spirit of mutual respect, for our mutual benefit."  

And referring to the words of Deng Xiaoping when he visited the US, Obama said Deng's words still remain true that "there  are still great possibilities for cooperation between our countries. President Hu, members of the Chinese delegation, let us seize these possibilities together.Welcome to the United States of America. Hwan-ying."




Image: Obama and Chinese President Hu Jintao (L) attend a meeting with business leaders
Photographs: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters
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'We must seek common ground while resolving our differences'

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Hu in his response and thanking Obama, the First Lady Michelle Obama and the American people for the warm welcome, particularly at the beginning of the new year, said, "On  behalf of the 1.3 billion Chinese people, sincere greetings and best wishes to the people of the United States. I have come to the United States to increase mutual trust, enhance friendship, deepen cooperation, and push forward the positive, cooperative, and comprehensive China-US relationship for the 21st century."

"Over the past 32 years, since the establishment of diplomatic ties, the China-U.S. relationship has grown into one with strategic significance and global influence. Since President Obama took office, with concerted efforts of the two sides, our cooperation in various fields has produced fruitful results and our relations have achieved new progress.This has brought real benefits to our two peoples, and contributed greatly to world peace and development."

Hu said, "As we enter the second decade of the 21st century, the people of both China and the United States want to see further progress in our relations and people around the globe want to see greater prosperity in the world.Under the new circumstances, and in the face of new challenges, China and the United States share broad common interests and important common responsibilities."

The Chinese premier called for both Beijing and Washington to "adopt a long-term perspective, seek common ground while resolving differences, and work together to achieve sustained, sound, and steady development of our relations. I hope that through this visit, our two countries will advance the positive, cooperative, and comprehensive relationship, and open a new chapter in our cooperation as partners."


Image: US President Barack Obama listens as Chinese President Hu Jintao speaks at the South Lawn
Photographs: Larry Downing/Reuters
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Obama and Hu stress on people's interactions

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"Our cooperation as partners should be based on mutual respect.  We live in an increasingly diverse and colorful world. China and the United States should respect each other's choice of development path and each other's core interests.  We should deepen mutual understanding through communication, increase mutual trust through dialogue, and expand common ground through exchanges," Hu added.

Hu reiterated, "Our cooperation as partners should be based on mutual benefit. China's future and destiny are increasingly tied to those of the world and China-US relations have become closer.Our two countries should seek to learn from each other through exchanges and achieve win-win progress through cooperation.This is the right approach for us to develop our relations.Our cooperation as partners should be based on joint efforts to meet challenges. China and the United States should step up communication and coordination in international affairs, work together to counter the global challenges, and make a greater contribution to world peace and development."

As did Obama, Hu also referred to people to people interactions saying, "Our cooperation as partners should be based on the extensive involvement of the people.The Chinese and American people cherish deep friendship towards each other, and they fought side by side at defining moments in history when the future and the destiny of mankind were at stake.The two peoples should extend exchanges and enhance friendship. This will offer a inexhaustible driving force for the growth of our relations."


Image: Barack Obama (R) and Hu Jintao watch a ceremonial marching band
Photographs: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters
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Hu will be the guest of honour at the State dinner

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"Our world today is undergoing major development, major changes and major adjustments. To pursue peace, development and cooperation is the irresistible trend of our time. Let us seize the opportunity to forge ahead, hand in hand, and work together to enhance cooperation as partners, and let us work with all other countries to build a harmonious world of lasting peace and common prosperity," Obama Said.

Hu, who arrived last evening to a red carpet welcome and was greeted by Vice President Joe Biden, was hosted to a private dinner at the White House by Obama with no note-takers and without any aides, except for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and National Security Adviser Tom Donilon.

After the South Lawn remarks, Obama and Hu were to engage in one-on-one talks in the Oval office and then joined by some of their cabinet members to continue with the substantive discussions.

After a joint press conference, at the conclusion of these meetings, Biden and Clinton were scheduled to host a luncheon in Hu's honor at the State Department, to be followed in the evening by a lavish state dinner at the White House.


Image: Chinese and American flags fly on a lamp post along Pennsylvania Avenue near the US Capitol
Photographs: Hyungwon Kang/Reuters
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