Hu Jintao Meets with US President Obama

On March 26, 2012, President Hu Jintao held talks with US President Barack Obama in Seoul. The two heads of state exchanged in-depth views and reached important consensus on further promoting the China-US cooperative partnership and regional and international issues of common concern. The meeting was very constructive.

Hu said that China-US relations in general have maintained stable development since Obama took office three years ago. The two countries have conducted effective coordination and cooperation in the major bilateral areas and on handling major regional and international issues. In particular, the two sides have decided to jointly build the cooperative partnership based on mutual respect and mutual benefit, making clear the direction of long-term development of China-US relations. At present, the international situation continues undergoing complex and profound changes and there remain many unstable and uncertain factors in the world economy. To build the China-US cooperative partnership based on mutual respect and mutual benefit involves the welfare of the two countries and our people and will exert an important influence on world peace, stability and prosperity. China is willing to work with the US to take a strategic and long-term perspective on the bilateral ties, strengthen dialogue, exchanges and cooperation, truly respect each other's core interest and major concerns, properly handle differences and sensitive issues, push forward the bilateral relations on the track of cooperative partnership and bring greater benefits to the two peoples and people all over the world.

Hu raised four proposals on the development of bilateral relations. First, stick to the general direction of cooperative partnership and make unremitting efforts to build the partnership. Second, expand the mutually beneficial cooperation in an all-round manner, try to broaden the pragmatic cooperation in more areas, step up cooperation on infrastructure construction and at local levels and boost the wider and deeper growth of bilateral business relations. Third, ensure sound interactions in Asia Pacific. China respects the US' existence and legitimate rights in Asia Pacific and welcomes it to play a constructive role in the regional affairs. China hopes the US takes into full account and truly respects its interests. The two sides should reinforce communications and dialogue and endeavor to realize win-win cooperation. Fourth, continue to inject vigor into the bilateral relations and take more flexible approaches to ensure the timely and quality high-level strategic communications between the two countries. China welcomes the US to hold the bilateral strategic and economic dialogue, high-level cultural consultations and strategic security dialogue in China this year and work out new consensus and measures on the bilateral cooperation.

Concerning China-US business relations, Hu stressed that the nature of the bilateral business cooperation is mutually beneficial. Some business frictions emerged while the bilateral mutually beneficial cooperation gets expanded and deepened and should be solved step by step in a cooperative manner during the course of cooperation. To relax control over export of US high-tech products to China will help expand US export to China, drive the growth of US economy and balance China-US trade. China expects to see the US take tangible steps.

With regard to the RMB exchange rate, Hu pointed out that the real exchange rate of RMB has appreciated by 30% since the reform of the exchange rate formation mechanism in 2005. The structural problems of the US such as trade deficit and unemployment are not caused by the RMB exchange rate. Even massive appreciation of RMB cannot solve the issues faced by the US economy. China will continue to promote the RMB exchange rate formation mechanism reform, make better use of the role of market in balancing supply and demand, increase the RMB exchange rate elasticity and keep basic stability of RMB exchange rate at a reasonable and equilibrium level.

Obama noted that he has held 11 meetings with Hu since he took office as the US President, showing that both sides are committed to maintaining the sound bilateral relations. In recent years, the two sides have conducted a series of high-level exchanges, including the strategic and economic dialogue, which has deepened the mutual trust and cooperation. The US is satisfied that the two countries have effectively handled differences and frictions in a constructive way and achieved positive results. It expects to strengthen dialogue, coordination and cooperation with China on the bilateral as well as major regional and international issues and advance the mutually beneficial partnership, which is crucial to both the US and China and the world at large. Last month, the two countries commemorated the 40th anniversary of President Nixon's visit to China. His country is willing to join hands with China to build better bilateral ties within the next 40 years.

The two sides released the Joint Fact Sheet on Strengthening US-China Economic Relations not long ago, showing that the US and China can achieve more results of business cooperation through contacts and dialogue, said Obama. The US is working on the issue of restricting high-tech product exports to China, welcomes Chinese businesses to expand investment in infrastructure construction in the US and will take more facilitation measures to that end.

They also exchanged views on the announcement of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) to launch a satellite and the current situation on the Korean Peninsula. After listening to Obama's introduction of the US position, Hu stressed that China is concerned and worried about the development of the situation and appeals to all parties concerned to take a long-term and broad perspective, remain calm and exercise restraint, properly resolve relevant issues through diplomatic channels and in a peaceful manner and maintain peace and stability of the Peninsula and Northeast Asia. It is consistent with the common interests of all parties. Over the years, China has made unremitting efforts in order to realize denuclearization and maintain peace and stability of the Peninsula. It hopes the US and the DPRK keep contacts and dialogue, maintain the consensus which has been reached and improve relations. China is willing to maintain close communication and coordination with relevant parties and play a constructive role in safeguarding regional peace and stability.

The two sides also exchanged views on the issues of Iran, Syria, Sudan and South Sudan.

Ling Jihua, Wang Huning and Dai Bingguo attended the meeting.

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