will be was continually updated today as I find found good or interesting material on Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping’s visit to the White House, the State Department, and the Pentagon.
Last update today. Off to CFR and then offline for the evening.
The White House has posted a transcript of Obama’s remarks, as well as the “Joint Fact Sheet on Strengthening U.S.-China Economic Relations.”
Neither document is especially surprising. I noted earlier that Obama said he welcomes China’s “peaceful rise,” a reference to an earlier rhetoric associated with Zheng Bijian. A quick look reveals that “we welcome the peaceful rise of China” has been something of a talking point. See this from November.
The economic relations document is what it sounds like, focusing exclusively on economic issues. It will take some comparison to other statements in the past to assess the significance of this document. And remember, Xi isn’t president yet.
MSNBC has posted video of Obama’s appearance with Xi Jinping:
Also, former Obama East Asia adviser Jeffrey Bader is rooting for Xi Jinping’s success.
The U.S. Congressional-Executive Commission on China has released its statement on Xi Jinping’s visit. It is predictably focused on human rights concerns, the major activity of the CECC:
“[W]e remain extremely concerned, as the run-up to Vice President Xi becoming the next leader of China has been accompanied by one of the worst crackdowns in recent memory,” said Representative Chris Smith, Chairman of the Commission. “Beyond that, China’s oppression of house churches, censorship of the Internet, and one-child policy continues unabated.”
“As China’s likely next leader, Vice President Xi has a unique opportunity to improve relations with the United States,” said Senator Sherrod Brown, Cochairman of the Commission. “But in order to win the respect of the American people, Vice President Xi must make every effort to ensure China plays by the rules, abides by its international obligations, and guarantees the fundamental rights of all its citizens.”
The release also targeted China on trade and labor conditions:
They noted that the WTO recently decided that Chinese restrictions on raw material exports violate WTO rules. “The WTO decision on raw materials is just further evidence of the Chinese government’s willingness to cheat and game the system at the expense of our companies and our workers,” said Chairman Smith.
The chairs also observed recent high-profile reports about the Foxconn manufacturing company detailing horrific conditions at Chinese factories, including dangerous work environments, long hours, and low wages. “The reports underscore the need for China to allow workers effective and independent labor representation, and for the Chinese government, domestic Chinese companies, and multinational companies to do much more to improve China’s poor worker safety record,” said Cochairman Brown.
The full text is not online yet, so I’ve posted it here.
President Obama used the language of Zheng Bijian in encouraging a Chinese “peaceful rise.”
Obama: “We welcome China’s peaceful rise.” … “We believe that a strong and prosperous China is one that can help to bring stability and prosperity to the region and to the world.”
Biden: “We are not always going to see eye-to-eye. We are not always going to see things exactly the same, but we have very important economic and political concerns that warrant that we work together.”
Xi: Xi said he hoped his trip would build on the progress made by Obama and Hu during a state visit by China’s president a year ago, in building a “cooperative partnership based on mutual respect and mutual benefit.” He said he looked forward to having “an in-depth and candid exchange of views.”
“Vice President Joe Biden, Gov. Jerry Brown and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa are all gathering in LA Thursday and Friday for Xi’s visit to the city.” (Huffington Post)
Of course, the very best thing published today on China and the United States has just come out at Al Jazeera English. #shamelessplug
POLITICO has an op-ed by Reps. Rick Larsen (D-Wash.) and Charles Boustany (R-La.), the co-chairmen of U.S.-China the Working Group. It’s a laundry list of issues, pushing for greater cooperation in name. The full text is concilatory, but the policy points read like a list of demands:
The Obama administration and its Chinese counterparts must focus on developing a bilateral investment treaty. …
Beijing must accede to the Government Procurement Agreement within the World Trade Organization. …
China’s leadership must be challenged on policies that aim to link government procurement to pre-approved suppliers, maintain currency misalignment and provide unfair subsidies to broad economic sectors. …
Beijing must also work to protect the intellectual property rights of U.S. companies, as well as Chinese firms. …
- “US-China economic tiff simmers … the relationship between Washington and Beijing on economic issues is for the moment a manageable tiff rather than all-out conflict.” So, a conflict story about how the conflict doesn’t amount to much. (Financial Times)
- Also from the FT, speculation about a yet-to-be-announced increase in the Chinese defense budget.
- Ten years ago: George W. Bush meets Hu Jintao. This will be a good basis for comparison when the new release appears. (Chinese Foreign Ministry)
- “Who’s Hu?” — The jokes were groaners, but they weren’t old yet in 2002. (News Hour)
- Evan Osnos has a roundup of profiles of Xi. (The New Yorker)
- “Friendly, but not an ally.” That’s what 63 percent of Americans think of China, according to a new Gallup poll. Thirteen percent said an ally, 17 percent “unfriendly,” and 6 percent “enemy.” (POLITICO)
- At least one story about the Xi Jinping transition is actually a story about Wang Lijun. (The Wall Street Journal)
- Others are making this about Xi Zhongxun, Jinping’s father (and mentioning Jinping’s daughter at Harvard). (Washington Post)
- Still others are going for the relatively straight biography. (Los Angeles Times)
- China Digital Times has its own write-up with characteristic thoroughness.
- Louisa Lim does her radio biographical treatment. (NPR)
- Daniel Russel, a top White House Asia adviser talks about the visit, and Michael Green says it’s designed to pay off in the future when Xi is in power. (NPR)