President Barack Obama welcomed Chinese President Hu Jintao to the White House, where they held a press conference to discuss U.S.-China relations. President Obama highlighted the successful meeting, in which the two discussed cooperation in commerce, science and technology, regional stability and security in East Asia, and moving forward with a formal dialogue on human rights.
President Obama said, "The positive, constructive, cooperative U.S.-China relationship is good for the United States. We just had a very good meeting with the business leaders from both our countries. They pointed out that China is one of the top markets for American exports. We're now exporting more than $100 billion a year in goods and services to China, which supports more than half a million American jobs. In fact, our exports to China are growing nearly twice as fast as our exports to the rest of the world, making it a key part of my goal of doubling American exports and keeping America competitive in the 21st century.
"Cooperation between our countries is also good for China. China's extraordinary economic growth has lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty. And this is a tribute to the Chinese people. But it's also thanks to decades of stability in Asia made possible by America's forward presence in the region, by strong trade with America, and by an open international economic system championed by the United States of America.
"Cooperation between our countries is also good for the world. Along with our G20 partners, we've moved from the brink of catastrophe to the beginning of global economic recovery. With our Security Council partners, we passed and are enforcing the strongest sanctions to date against Iran over its nuclear program. We've worked together to reduce tensions on the Korean Peninsula. And most recently, we welcomed China's support for the historic referendum in southern Sudan.
"As we look to the future, what's needed, I believe, is a spirit of cooperation that is also friendly competition. In areas like those that I just mentioned, we will cooperate -- forging partnerships and making progress that neither nation can achieve alone. In other areas, we'll compete -- a healthy competition that spurs both countries to innovate and become even more competitive. That's the kind of relationship I see for the United States and China in the 21st century, and that's the kind of relationship that we advanced today.
"I am very pleased that we've completed dozens of deals that will increase U.S. exports by more than $45 billion and also increase China's investment in the United States by several billion dollars. From machinery to software, from aviation to agriculture, these deals will support some 235,000 American jobs. And that includes many manufacturing jobs. So this is great news for America's workers.
"I did also stress to President Hu that there has to be a level playing field for American companies competing in China, that trade has to be fair. So I welcomed his commitment that American companies will not be discriminated against when they compete for Chinese government procurement contracts. And I appreciate his willingness to take new steps to combat the theft of intellectual property.
President Obama also spoke about cooperation in science and technology. He said, "...We're moving ahead with our U.S.-China clean energy research center and joint ventures in wind power, smart grids and cleaner coal. I believe that as the two largest energy consumers and emitters of greenhouses gases, the United States and China have a responsibility to combat climate change by building on the progress at Copenhagen and Cancun, and showing the way to a clean energy future. And President Hu indicated that he agrees with me on this issue.
"We discussed China's progress in moving toward a more market-oriented economy and how we can ensure a strong and balanced global economic recovery. We agreed that in China, this means boosting domestic demand; here in the United States, it means spending less and exporting more.
"I told President Hu that we welcome China's increasing the flexibility of its currency. But I also had to say that the RMB remains undervalued, that there needs to be further adjustment in the exchange rate, and that this can be a powerful tool for China boosting domestic demand and lessening the inflationary pressures in their economy. So we'll continue to look for the value of China's currency to be increasingly driven by the market, which will help ensure that no nation has an undue economic advantage.
"To advance our shared security, we're expanding and deepening dialogue and cooperation between our militaries, which increases trust and reduces misunderstandings.
"With regard to regional stability and security in East Asia, I stressed that the United States has a fundamental interest in maintaining freedom of navigation, unimpeded commerce, respect for international law and the peaceful resolution of differences.
"I welcomed the progress that's been made on both sides of the Taiwan Strait in reducing tensions and building economic ties. And we hope this progress continues, because it's in the interest of both sides, the region and the United States. Indeed, I reaffirmed our commitment to a one-China policy based on the three U.S.-China communiques and the Taiwan Relations Act.
"I told President Hu that we appreciated China's role in reducing tensions on the Korean Peninsula, and we agreed that North Korea must avoid further provocations. I also said that North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile program is increasingly a direct threat to the security of the United States and our allies. We agreed that the paramount goal must be complete denuclearization of the peninsula. In that regard, the international community must continue to state clearly that North Korea's uranium enrichment program is in violation of North Korea's commitments and international obligations.
"With respect to global security, I'm pleased that we're moving ahead with President Hu's commitment at last year's Nuclear Security Summit for China to establish a center of excellence, which will help secure the world's vulnerable nuclear materials.
"To prevent the spread of nuclear weapons, we agreed that Iran must uphold its international obligations and that the U.N. Security Council sanctions on Iran must be fully enforced.
"Along with our P5-plus-1 partners, we'll continue to offer the government of Iran the opportunity for dialogue and integration into the international community, but only if it meets its obligations.
"I reaffirmed America's fundamental commitment to the universal rights of all people. That includes basic human rights like freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly, of association and demonstration, and of religion -- rights that are recognized in the Chinese constitution. As I've said before, the United States speaks up for these freedoms and the dignity of every human being, not only because it's part of who we are as Americans, but we do so because we believe that by upholding these universal rights, all nations, including China, will ultimately be more prosperous and successful.
"So, today, we've agreed to move ahead with our formal dialogue on human rights. We've agreed to new exchanges to advance the rule of law. And even as we, the United States, recognize that Tibet is part of the People's Republic of China, the United States continues to support further dialogue between the government of China and the representatives of the Dalai Lama to resolve concerns and differences, including the preservation of the religious and cultural identity of the Tibetan people.
"Finally, we continue to expand partnerships between our people, especially our young people. Today, my wife Michelle is highlighting our efforts to increase the number of American students studying in China to 100,000. And I am very pleased that President Hu will be visiting my hometown of Chicago."
In his final remarks, President Obama said, "...I believe that we've helped to lay the foundation for cooperation between the United States and China for decades to come. And Michelle and I look forward to hosting President Hu for a state dinner tonight to celebrate the deep ties between our people, as well as our shared hopes for the future."
You can read the complete remarks here.