From Overseas Press

US-China relations warm as Obama and Hu Jintao meet

Updated: 2010-04-13 10:39
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US-China relations warm as Obama and Hu Jintao meet
Chinese President Hu Jintao (L) meets with US President Barack Obama in Washington April 12, 2010. [Xinhua]

President Hu Jintao's visit to Washington for the nuclear security summit has aroused huge attention in global media. The following are comments from several overseas media:

Christian Science Monitor April 12

After passing through a cold winter, US-China relations entered springtime with President Obama greeting Chinese President Hu Jintao in Washington on Monday.

The two countries have come out of several months in which it appeared that disagreements over everything from Beijing's relations with Tehran to Obama's meeting with the Dalai Lama would push relations into a deep freeze. But both countries pulled back after each decided that bilateral relations were too important.

"Certainly there's been this perception of growing friction, at least in part as the Chinese have tested the mettle of a new and young US president," says Charles Freeman, a China scholar at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington. "But both sides realize that the relationship is extremely important and that getting it wrong would be disastrous for China as well as for the US."

Relations were never as bad as public perceptions appeared to have them, Mr. Freeman maintains. But a realization by both governments about those public perceptions led to an orchestrated effort to reverse the slide, he says.

South China Morning Post April 12

After months of bickering, China is sending its president to the United States on a mission that speaks more about what it wants from the Sino-US relationship than its concern for the official pretext of the summit - nuclear security.

President Hu Jintao arrives in Washington today for a summit on nuclear security. Many expect the two powers' strained ties will enter a new phase when he meets his counterpart, Barack Obama, for the first time since they hit a rough patch.

Sino-US relations have taken interesting turns in recent weeks. US leaders have renewed their pledges on Taiwan and Tibet, and signs are growing that China could strengthen its yuan after Washington delayed the release of a report that could label Beijing a currency manipulator.

A surprise meeting between Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Vice-Premier Wang Qishan at Beijing airport on Thursday also paved the way for future talks between the two sides that many believe will lead to the yuan's revaluation this year.

Reuters April 12

Chinese President Hu Jintao's visit to Washington for a nuclear security summit this week is the latest sign of a warming in relations with President Barack Obama's administration that looks set to continue in the months ahead.

US-Chinese relations have improved rapidly since April after months of disputes over China's currency and Internet controls, US arms sales to Taiwan and Obama's meeting with the Dalai Lama at the White House. "China reacted maybe a bit tougher rhetorically than in the past and than we had expected," said Bonnie Glaser, a China expert and senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

"I think what we've seen throughout the year is that at important junctures, the president's bilateral meetings and conversations with these leaders helps kind of move things forward," Ben Rhodes, deputy national security adviser for strategic communications, told reporters this week.

AP April 11

China is softening its recent muscular global posture, muting criticisms of the US at a time of delicate negotiations with Washington and simmering economic troubles at home.

The rhetorical respite comes as President Hu Jintao heads to Washington this week, after months of friction with the US, and was in full evidence this weekend at an international meeting designed to showcase China's growing reach as an economic and diplomatic powerhouse.