Hu, Obama vow to tackle global challenges together

08:20, November 18, 2009      

Email | Print | Subscribe | Comments | Forum 

Chinese President Hu Jintao and visiting U.S. President Barrack Obama reached broader common grounds on major global issues but the two leaders did not appear to shy away from the differing views.

Obama, speaking to press corps after a long talk with Hu at the Great Hall of the People, lifted sights for an concrete accord at next month's climate conference in Denmark that Obama said will lead to immediate action and "rally the world" toward a solution on global warming.

A pledge to strengthen Sino-US bilateral ties and expand co-operation was highlighted in a joint statement issued after a "tone-setting" meeting between Hu and Obama. It was the third summit between them during Obama's first year in office.

A long list of agreements, embedded in the documentation, cover a broad range of global crises such as economic recovery, climate change, nuclear non-proliferation and counter-terrorism, said the official Xinhua News Agency.

The two presidents talked of a joint desire to tackle climate change, but did not publicly address the root problems that could unravel a deal at the 192-nation conference in Copenhagen in December: how much each country can contribute to curb greenhouse gases and how the world will pay the billions of dollars needed to fight rising temperatures of the earth, the Associated Press reported.

Beijing and Washington are committed to building a “positive, cooperative and comprehensive relationship” aimed for the 21st century, and will take concrete actions to steadily build a partnership to address their common challenges, the joint statement says.

"This statement has an unprecedented wide coverage of global issues. The bilateral relationship now boasts an international vision and sheds light on global strategic interests, as it will have an impact on almost each and every crucial aspect of the international community," said Wang Yizhou, a professor of international relations at Peking University.

Both sides conveyed a message that bilateral relations had been lifted to new heights, Wang said.

"The tone-setting meeting was aimed at setting up comprehensive strategic principles for the bilateral relationship," Wang said. "Both sides will have to discuss implementation of the outcomes."

President Hu Jintao said nations would do their part "consistent with our respective capabilities," a reference to the now widely accepted view that developing nations — including China, India and Brazil — should be required only to set goals for reining in greenhouse-gas emissions, not accept absolute targets for reducing emissions like the industrialized countries.

Obama administration officials acknowledge that the Copenhagen talks are not expected to produce a final legal agreement, putting that off until next year. The administration sought to make clear Tuesday that Obama expects the talks to produce something more than "an agreement to have an agreement" at a future date, said the Associated Press.

Using language that went further than before, Obama said the aim of the summit "is not a partial accord or a political declaration, but rather an accord that covers all of the issues in the negotiations, and one that has immediate operational effect." He said an all-encompassing agreement "would be an important step forward in the effort to rally the world around a solution to our climate challenge."

At a joint press conference following the summit meeting, President Hu told about 400 journalists that his talks with Obama were "candid, constructive and fruitful." China and the US have more comprehensive shared interests, and a more extensive prospect for cooperation, Hu said.

Obama said the relationship has never been more important to their collective future.

"The major challenges of the 21st Century … are challenges that touch both our nations and challenges that neither of our nations can solve by acting alone," he said. "The United States welcomes China's efforts in playing a greater role on the world stage – a role in which a growing economy is joined by growing responsibilities."

On the economic front, the two sides pledged to rebalance each other's economies and implement forward-looking monetary polices for a strong and durable global economic recovery.

Obama said "China's partnership has proved critical in our efforts to pull ourselves out of the worst recession in generations."

"I was pleased to note the Chinese commitment made in past statements to move to a more market-oriented exchange rate over time. I emphasized in our discussions, as had others in the region, that doing so, based on economic fundamentals, would make an essential contribution to the global rebalancing effort."

President Hu urged the US to relax its control on the export of high-tech products to China. He also called on the US to recognize China's status as a market economy.

"Keeping the yuan stable at the current stage would benefit the counter-crisis efforts by both nations and also the world's financial stability," Vice Foreign Minister He Yafei said at a briefing yesterday.

Recognizing the importance of open trade and investment on their domestic and the global economies, the two are committed to fighting protectionism in all its manifestations.

Despite few signs for a major breakthrough at the climate meeting in Copenhagen next month, the two countries agreed to strive for an agreed outcome, including an accord that covers all the issues and has an "immediate operational effect," Obama said.

The agreement should include emission-reduction targets of developed countries and nationally appropriate mitigation actions of developing countries, the statement said.

In the statement, the two sides acknowledged Iran's right to peaceful use of nuclear energy under the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and noted that it should fulfill its due international obligations under that treaty. Meanwhile, the two also called for an expedited resumption of the Six-Party Talks on the Korean nuclear issue.

Both sides also supported the efforts of Afghanistan and Pakistan to fight terrorism.

People's Daily Online
  • Do you have anything to say?

Related Channel News

Special Coverage
Major headlines
Editor's Pick
Most Popular
Hot Forum Dicussion