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Remarks Prior to a Meeting With Premier Wen Jiabao of China in Phnom Penh

November 20, 2012

President Obama. Well, it's good to see Premier Wen again. We last met at the East Asia Summit in Bali a year ago.

It's very important that we use multilateral meetings like the EAS to discuss shared regional and global challenges, and I'm committed to working with China, and I'm committed to working with Asia. It's important that our two countries cooperate to build a more secure and prosperous future for the Asia-Pacific region and for the world.

Premier Wen and I have also worked very closely together on our bilateral and global economic problems. And as the two largest economies in the world, we have a special responsibility to lead the way in ensuring sustained and balanced growth, not only here in Asia, but globally.

I very much believe that the cooperative and constructive approach that we've taken to our bilateral relations is good for both our countries and the world. And it is very important that as two of the largest economies in the world, that we work to establish clear rules of the road internationally for trade and investment, which can increase prosperity and global growth.

So I very much appreciate Premier Wen's engagement with the United States on these issues. I'm sure this will be another honest and constructive conversation and will help to continue the process of strengthening the relationship between China and the United States.

Premier Wen. Mr. President, it is a great pleasure to see you again. This is our fifth meeting.

Let me use this opportunity to first, once again, extend my congratulations to you, Mr. President, on your reelection, and I also wish to convey the best regards from President Hu Jintao and the newly elected General Secretary Xi Jinping to you.

Mr. President, you have set out your vision on many occasions that you want to lead the United States to address various challenges more effectively, in particular to revitalize the economy, to create more jobs, and to enhance international security and cooperation. I wish you all the best.

You and I share the view, Mr. President, that China-U.S. relationship is one of the most important bilateral relationships in the world. The long-term sound and steady growth of China-U.S. relations serves the fundamental interests of both countries. It is also important for peace, stability, and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific and the world.

I hope our meeting today will send out such a positive message to the world: a positive message that both countries will remain committed to pursuing a cooperative partnership between the two sides based on mutual respect and mutual benefit. Our two sides will continue to work together to strengthen and enhance our dialogue mechanisms, including the strategic and economic dialogues, the strategic security dialogue, and the high-level consultation on people-to-people exchange.

We will enhance our business cooperation and engage in large-scale cooperation in economy and finance to use it as a means to tackle the difficulties we have and resolve the differences and disagreements between us. Our two countries will enhance exchange and consultation on regional and international affairs, in particular to enhance our cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region.

Well, I believe we have a common will on all those important issues. I look forward to an honest discussion with you today, Mr. President.

Note: The President spoke at 11:40 a.m. at the Peace Palace. In his remarks, Premier Wen referred to Vice President Xi Jinping of China. 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 Phnom Penh Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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