Obama, Chinese Leader Meet on UN Sidelines
President Barack Obama and Chinese President Hu Jintao brushed aside their countries’ differences Tuesday, offering instead diplomatic assurances and pledging to strengthen an increasingly intertwined relationship.
The leaders did not mention the latest point of tension in their countries’ ties during public comments before their meeting on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly: the recent U.S. decision to slap punitive tariffs on Chinese-made tire imports.
Obama, seated across a long table from his Chinese counterpart at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, said he was “committed to pursuing a genuinely cooperative and comprehensive relationship with China.
“We need to make our relationship more dynamic and effective, given the growing number of common global and regional challenges that our countries face.”
Obama stressed to Hu the “the centrality of the Iran nuclear issue to U.S national security interests” and urged China to cooperate with efforts to convince the country to come clean on its atomic program, which the U.S. and some of its allies say is aimed at developing nuclear arms.
Senior diplomats from the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council — Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States — along with Germany are to meet with Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator on Oct. 1 in Geneva to discuss Iranian compliance with the demands to halt suspect activity in exchange for a package of incentives.
Should Iran not accept, the U.S. and its European allies want to impose harsh new sanctions on Iran, something that Russia and China have balked at in the past and continue to oppose.
On the global warming front, see an editorial from the New York Times on the role of both China and the U.S. in leading the fight against climate change, titled, “Mr. Obama and Mr. Hu on Warming” and an article from the Australian, “Hu steals Obama’s climate thunder.”
Update: Via the China Law and Policy blog, here are the “Remarks from Pre-Meeting of Presidents Barack Obama and Hu Jintao” and “Administration’s Debriefing of Hu Jintao and Barack Obama Meeting” issued by the White House.