“I just want to welcome President Hu and thank him for extending himself to come to visit," President Obama said this afternoon after meeting with Hu Jintao, president of the People’s Republic of China. "And for allowing us to have our first face to face conversation."
"Obviously China is a great power, it has a long and extraordinary history," the president continued, pausing after each sentence or two for his comments to be translated into Chinese. The White House has reported that Hu invited Mr. Obama to visit China in the second half of the year, and the American president accepted the offer.
"The relationship between the U.S. and China has become extremely constructive. Our economic relationships are very strong, and I said publicly and I continue to believe that the relationship between China and the United States is not only important for the citizens of both our countries but will help to set the stage for how the world deals with a whole host of challenges in the years to come."
Concluded Mr. Obama: "So I am looking forward to productive and open conversation about not only the state of the world economy during this time of crisis, but also how we can work cooperatively together to improve peace and security for both nations and the world at large. And I think that as strong as our relationship already is, I am confident that we can make it stronger for many years to come.”