Posted by: mulrickillion | November 13, 2011

Obama at APEC summit: China must ‘play by the rules’

11-13-2011 6-18-11 AM

"I’m very proud of the leadership America has shown in the past, but I also don’t want to underestimate the leadership we’re showing now," President Obama said on day one of the summit. Emmanual Dunand / AFP/Getty Images

By David Nakamura, Nov 12, 2011 —

HONOLULU — President Obama moved quickly Saturday to project the image of renewed American leadership in the Asian Pacific, announcing broad agreement on a multi-nation free-trade pact and warning China that it must “play by the rules” as its international influence increases.

On the first day of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit here, Obama sketched out his administration’s vision of an expanded U.S. role, telling a ballroom of hundreds of business leaders that the newfound engagement is a “reaffirmation of how important we consider this region.”

“On the business side, this is where the action’s going to be,” Obama said. Later, he added, “I’m very proud of the leadership America has shown in the past, but I also don’t want to underestimate the leadership we’re showing now.”

11-13-2011 6-26-07 AM

Chinese President Hu Jinta told business leaders, "China will work hard to turn itself into an innovation-driven country … so we can transition from ‘made in China’ to ‘created in China.’ " Chinese President Hu Jintao participates in the APEC chief executive summit. Jason Reed / Reuters..

Yet even as Obama sought to establish U.S. primacy, his Chinese counterpart, President Hu Jintao, offered a competing vision for regional growth — one with dynamic Chinese markets and improving internal business standards as the driving engine.

“China has huge market potential and capital,” Hu told the same business leaders. “China will work hard to turn itself into an innovation-driven country . . . so we can transition from ‘made in China’ to ‘created in China.’ ”

Their comments came hours before the two presidents held a bilateral meeting, at which Obama stressed that cooperation between the two powers was “vital to the world.”

Although Hu said he was confident the countries could work constructively based on “mutual respect and mutual interest,” reporters allowed into the room for the opening remarks noticed that the Chinese leader did not look at Obama while either spoke.

After the meeting, Michael Froman, a U.S. deputy national security adviser, told reporters that the president was clear with Hu that the American business community is “growing increasingly impatient and frustrated with the state of change in China economic policy and the evolution of the U.S.-China economic relationship.”

Froman added that Hu “heard the message and understood the implications of it.”

11-13-2011 6-36-29 AM

U.S. trade representative Ron Kirk consults Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton before an APEC ministerial meeting. J. David Ake / AP.

The early political maneuvering set the tone for what is expected to be ongoing competition for influence with China during Obama’s nine-day trip through the Asia Pacific, which includes stops in Australia, to announce a new military partnership, and Bali, Indonesia, for a regional security summit.

Early Saturday, Obama hailed progress on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a free trade agreement with eight other nations that his administration has said will help create jobs as it opens foreign markets to U.S. exports.

He said the United States and other countries — Brunei, Chile, New Zealand, Singapore, Australia, Malaysia, Peru and Vietnam — reached broad agreement on the pact and are aiming to have legal language for the framework in place by next year. Japan, which has announced its intention to start discussions on joining the partnership, was not involved in Saturday’s meeting.

“With nearly 500 million consumers between us, there is so much more we can do together,” Obama said. . . .

Obama at APEC summit: China must ‘play by the rules’ – The Washington Post

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