2010/09/24

Obama, Wen meet, stress cooperation

UNITED NATIONS, September 23, 2010 (AFP) - President Barack Obama and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao met Thursday amid rising tensions over Beijing's currency policy and as China is locked in a maritime showdown with key US ally Japan.

The two men, meeting on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, noted common efforts on the global economy, climate change, non-proliferation and other issues, as they spoke to reporters before their talks.

Wen said he came to the United States in a "spirit of cooperation" and said the United States and China could work together on financial and economic issues.

Obama meanwhile hailed the US-China strategic dialogue and noted China's efforts to stabilize the global economy after the worst economic crisis in decades, and said Sino-US relations were based on "mutual respect."

The president had warned Beijing on Monday that the US-China economic relationship must be a "two-way street" in a further toughening of American rhetoric on currency and trade disputes.

The Obama administration maintains that Beijing is keeping its currency artificially low against the dollar to make its exports more competitive, and  is showing increasing signs of frustration over the long-running row.

China hit back that foreign pressure over its currency policy was "unwise" and "shortsighted."