In Candor From China, Efforts to Ease Anxiety – Joseph Kahn

From the New York Times (link)

China and the United States have engaged in public disputes about trade, human rights, military spending and energy security, but for just a moment late last year, their leaders put briefing books aside and agreed to talk privately.

With an aura of candor described as unusual for Chinese leaders, President Hu Jintao told President Bush that fighting political corruption, rural unrest, a widening wealth gap and severe pollution consumes nearly all his time. He said domestic problems left China with neither the will nor the means to challenge America’s dominance in world affairs, according to two Bush administration officials who were told about the session.

The overture – described as having improved Mr. Hu’s ties with Mr. Bush despite the Chinese leader’s generally aloof style ” is part of a Chinese effort to reduce, or at least to deflect, American anxiety about the country’s growing economic, political and military power.

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