See an exclusive photo from the White House Photo Office and the official readout of this closed press meeting below:
President Barack Obama welcomes China's Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi to the Oval Office, Thursday, March 12, 2009, at the White House. (White House Photo/Pete Souza)
Readout on the President's Meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi
President Obama met with the Chinese Foreign Minister today in the Oval Office. Prior to the meeting, the Foreign Minister met with National Security Advisor Jones and also met yesterday at the State Department with Secretary of State Clinton.
During today’s meeting, President Obama and Foreign Minister Yang discussed the overall state of the U.S.-China bilateral relationship, emphasizing the desire of both sides to strengthen cooperation and build a positive and constructive U.S.-China relationship.
The two also discussed other important global issues, including the international financial crisis, North Korea, Afghanistan and Pakistan, and the situation in Sudan. The President also stressed the importance of raising the level and frequency of the U.S.-China military-to-military dialogue in order to avoid future incidents. General Jones had also raised the recent incident in the South China Sea with the USNS Impeccable.
On the international financial crisis, the two agreed that China and the U.S. must work closely and urgently, as two of the world’s leading economies, to stabilize the global economy by stimulating demand at home and abroad, and get credit markets flowing. The President also emphasized the need to address global trade imbalances.
On human rights, the President noted that the promotion of human rights is an essential aspect of U.S. global foreign policy. The President expressed his hope there would be progress in the dialogue between the Chinese government and the Dalai Lama’s representatives.
On North Korea, the President expressed appreciation for the important role China has played as the Chair of the Six-Party Talks. He said we will continue to work with China and other partners in the Six-Party process to verifiably eliminate North Korea’s nuclear program. The President also highlighted the risks posed by North Korea’s missile program.
On Darfur, President Obama expressed his deep concern about the unfolding humanitarian crisis and the Government of Sudan’s decision to expel major humanitarian organizations that had been providing lifesaving assistance to the people of Darfur.