Obama and Hu Jintao meet in Washington
AAP staff report
Washington, D.C. (April 12, 2010) – Jeffrey A. Bader, senior director for Asian affairs on the National Security Council staff of the Obama administration, held a conference call Monday through the White House Office of the Press Secretary to discuss the President’s meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao.This is the fourth time that President Hu and President Obama have met personally, and Bader said the two spoke for about an hour and a half Monday afternoon. The two have spoken previously in London, New York, in Beijing and numerous times on the phone.
“I would describe the tone of today’s conversation as positive and constructive,” said Bader. “It was a meeting without talking points – a conversation between two leaders who are familiar and comfortable talking with each other about bilateral relations and where they stand.”
Bader said the two Presidents discussed ways to expand interests and responsibilities in dealing with global challenges, particularly with non-proliferation and the global economic recovery. He said the two agreed that the U.S. and China need to take concrete actions to solidify development and partnership.
With regard to non-proliferation, the two spoke at length on Iran. Bader said the Chinese share the P5-plus-1 concern about the Iranian nuclear program and support a dual track preservation of the non-proliferation regime. The details of possible sanctions would be worked out in the coming days and weeks.
“The two Presidents agreed to instruct their delegations to work with the P5-plus-1 and U.N. Security Council representatives on a sanctions resolution,” said Bader. “The resolution will make clear to Iran the costs of pursuing a nuclear program that violates Iran’s obligations and responsibilities.”
Regarding international economic issues, Bader said Obama reaffirmed his views on the importance of a sustained and balanced global economic recovery, and that China move toward a more market-oriented exchange rate as an essential contribution to that objective.
“The President also noted his concern over some market access issues, market access barriers, in China and the need to address them as part of the rebalancing effort,” said Bader.
The rebalancing issue was discussed, but Bader said he would not characterize the Chinese position.
The meeting was paused for one minute when Obama told President Hu about the loss of 29 men in a deadly mining tragedy in West Virginia. It was noted that in the last 10 days, 85 miners lost their lives in Shanxi province in China, and they were also remembered as well.
“Both delegations, led by President Obama and President Hu, stood for a minute of silence,” he added.
The issue of climate change did not come up in the meeting because time ran out before all of the planned issues were discussed, said Bader.
Jeffrey Bader joined the Obama administration staff as senior director for Asian affairs on the National Security Council staff in January 2009. From 2005 to 2009, while a senior fellow at Brookings, he was director of the John L. Thornton China Center.