For China, Relief After a Successful Trip

The New York Times sums up the outcome of President Hu Jintao’s recent state visit to Washington:

From China’s point of view, the trip was intended to do two things. The first was to show Mr. Hu being accorded the respect he is due as head of a powerful country. That was the Washington part of the trip, with all of its pomp and circumstance.

It was also meant to highlight China’s soft power by having Mr. Hu visit Chicago and inspect a Chinese company — to show that China is not just the world’s factory but an investor and job creator itself overseas. Also on the agenda was a visit to a Confucius Institute, one of the country’s new chain of cultural centers that Beijing is banking on to spread its influence in more subtle ways.

These goals contrasted with the more contentious concerns that Washington wanted to address, especially the tensions with North Korea, growing trade problems and the stubborn issue of human rights.

These issues could have made the trip much rockier than it was, especially since China today is more powerful than it was at the time of past visits.

And from the Global Times, an official Chinese publication:

Reiterating their commitment to developing a positive, cooperative and comprehensive China-US relationship as they agreed in 2009, Chinese and US leaders also vowed to build “a cooperative partnership based on mutual respect and mutual benefit”, during Hu’s visit to Washington.

The two terms showed a kind of progress which represented the increasing common interests and mutual need of the two sides over the recent period, as well as more and more challenges that required the joint efforts of the largest developed and developing countries, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai said.

Yuan Peng, director of the America Studies of China Institute for Contemporary International Relations (CICIR), said the new expression of bilateral ties was positive, objective and pragmatic.

As the deepening and development of the previous expression, the new term was a highlight of President Hu’s US visit, Yuan said.

Meanwhile, Reuters quotes a Treasury Official as saying “more progress needed on China” while Xinhua quotes the same official as being “pleased with progress” made during the summit.

Read more about President Hu’s visit to the U.S. via CDT. See raw video of Hu’s visit to a high school in Chicago:

And see behind the scenes photos of the State Dinner via Huffington Post.