Xi Jinping Meets with President Obama

Vice President Xi Jinping met with President Obama today in the White House. Reuters reports:

In White House talks, Obama sought to reassure Xi that Washington welcomed China’s “peaceful rise” but made clear that tensions remain in a growing economic and military rivalry between the two countries.

Xi’s White House visit was the centerpiece of a U.S. trip that may help the Chinese vice president boost his international standing and show he is capable of steering his country’s crucial relationship with Washington for the next decade.

Obama sought to balance his desire to make a good start with Xi with the political need to look firm with Beijing in an election year when American voters’ anti-China sentiment is running high.

“We have tried to emphasize that because of China’s … extraordinary development over the last two decades, that with expanding power and prosperity also comes increased responsibilities,” Obama said as he sat with Xi in the Oval Office.

BBC also reports on Xi’s earlier meeting with Vice President Biden
, Xi’s host in the U.S., and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton:

Earlier in the day, Mr Xi met Mr Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the White House’s Roosevelt Room.

Mr Biden said that while “we are not always going to see eye to eye”, both nations would speak “candidly” about their differences.

Mr Xi will meet Defence Secretary Leon Panetta, too. On Wednesday, he is due to travel to Iowa to meet his hosts from his first visit to the US in 1985 when he was a county official.

He will then fly to Los Angeles, California, to meet business leaders and reportedly attend a Lakers basketball game on Friday.

Footage from the Biden meeting is from Bloomberg:

See the full Bloomberg report on the meetings. Foreign Policy also provides more details about State Department lunch for Xi and about the conversations between him and Biden.

As pro-Tibet protesters rallied outside the White House after hanging a banner from the Arlington Memorial Bridge, Obama and Xi discussed human rights with the Chinese Vice President defending his country’s record. From AP:

Xi defended the communist-governed country’s rights record over the past 30 years, but added: “Of course there’s always room for improvement on human rights.”

Xi’s comments, made at a State Department luncheon after meeting Obama at the White House, were similar to those made by President Hu Jintao — the man he is slated to replace as Communist Party this leader this fall — during a state visit to Washington a year ago.

Underscoring the sensitivity of the rights issues among China’s critics, a few hundred protesters marched outside the White House, waving Tibetan flags and calling for a free Tibet. They held signs proclaiming, “Xi Jinping: Tibet will be free.” They shouted “Shame on Chinese government” and “Stop lying to the world.”

Read more about Xi Jinping, including recent profiles published on the eve of his U.S. visit, via CDT.


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