Barack Obama photo

Remarks Prior to a Meeting With Premier Wen Jiabao of China in New York City

September 23, 2010

President Obama. I want to welcome Premier Wen to the United States and once again say what an outstanding partner he's been over the last 21 months since I've been in office.

Along with President Hu, Premier Wen, I think, has exhibited extraordinary openness and cooperation with us as we try to strengthen the relationship between our two countries, a relationship that is based on cooperation, on mutual interest, on mutual respect.

We have worked together on a whole range of issues. Obviously, one of the most important issues has been to deal with the financial crisis and the recession that traveled around the world over the last several years. In the G-20, our cooperation, I think, has been absolutely critical.

I should probably actually let somebody translate now. [Laughter]

[At this point, an interpreter translated President Obama's initial remarks.]

Even as we've stabilized the world economy so that it is growing again and trade is growing again, we've also been working on a host of other issues that are of common interest. For example, we've cooperated extensively on issues of nuclear nonproliferation, and we have also had very frank discussions and cooperated on issues of climate change.

Obviously, we continue to have more work to do. On the economic front, although the world economy is now growing again, I think it's going to be very important for us to have frank discussions and continue to do more work cooperatively in order to achieve the type of balance and sustained economic growth that is so important and that we both signed up for in the context of the G-20 framework.

And we also, I think, have to work cooperatively together in order to achieve regional peace and stability, because the world looks to the relationship between China and the United States as a critical ingredient on a whole range of security issues around the world.

Fortunately, the Strategic and Economic Dialogue that we've set up provides an excellent forum for us to work through a range of bilateral as well as multilateral issues.

I have great confidence in the interest of both President Hu and Premier Wen to continue on the path of cooperation and mutually beneficial policies. I look forward to seeing them at the G-20 and APEC this fall. And I'm looking forward, hopefully, to the possibility of President Hu visiting us for an official state visit some time in the near future.

So, Premier Wen, to you and your delegation, welcome. And let me once again express on behalf of the American people our desire to continue to build a growing friendship and strong relationship between the peoples of China and the United States.

Premier Wen. It's a great pleasure to meet President Obama and all our American friends here. I always believed that China-U.S. relationship has gone beyond the bilateral scope and has important influence internationally.

Our common interests far outweigh our differences. In spite of the disagreements of one kind or another between our two countries, I believe these differences can be well resolved through dialogue and cooperation. So the China-U.S. relationship will always forge ahead. I have confidence in this.

Just now, you, Mr. President, referred to a host of areas where our two countries have cooperated, and I have come to the United States with such a cooperative spirit too. Our two countries can have cooperation on a series of major international issues and regional hotspot issues. We have cooperation on tackling the financial crisis and meeting the climate challenge. China and the United States can also embrace an even closer and bigger relationship in the fields of public finance, financial industry, and economic cooperation and trade.

I have come to this meeting with President Obama with a candid and constructive attitude. In the past couple of days here in my stay in New York, I have been saying such a message far and wide, that is, I'm sure I'm going to have a wonderful discussion with the President.

And I think our meeting today will also achieve the result that we will foster favorable conditions for the visit to the United States by President Hu Jintao at an appropriate time next year.

[Inaudible]--I want to thank you, Mr. President, for taking time.

NOTE: The President spoke at 11:27 a.m. at United Nations Headquarters. Premier Wen Spoke in Chinese, and his remarks were translated by an interpreter.

Barack Obama, Remarks Prior to a Meeting With Premier Wen Jiabao of China in New York City Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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