Obama meets with China’s president
ï»żChinese President Hu Jintao visited Washington D.C. on Wednesday. The official state visit, which featured an illustrious opening ceremony and a one-hour press conference, is appearing to be a sign of friendship or at the very least mutual understanding.
The visit has yet to produce a real tangible measure of progress, but a warming of the hearts does appear to be taking place. President Obama and President Hu made difinitive statements acknowledging both the interests and challenges that the United States and China will share in the future.
For instance, both Obama and Hu declared that their countries will shoulder increasingly common responsibilities, such as nonproliferation, energy efficiency and terrorism in order to maintain stability within the international system.
The topic that fostered the highest degree of commonality was business. Both Presidents happily expressed their commitment to establishing a peaceful bilateral trade, an economic and investment relationship that follows a ‘win-win strategy’ for both countries. Both Presidents also cited figures highlighting how the U.S. and China benefit from open trade and markets. (The U.S. exports $100 million worth of goods to China, $380 billion in formal trade.)
Some may view the visit as merely a staged and practiced recitation of lofty goals. But those who follow this interpretation ignore the power of personal relationships in the vast and confusing arena of international diplomacy.
At the very least, it appears President Obama and President Hu are becoming trustworthy counterparts.