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Remarks Prior to a Meeting With President Hu Jintao of China in Honolulu

November 12, 2011

President Obama. Well, I want to extend a warm welcome to President Hu as he attends this APEC summit, and we are glad to be host him and the other world leaders who are attending.

This will be the first extensive discussions that we've had since our very successful state visit by President Hu to Washington.

As we emphasized at that state visit, as two of the world's largest countries and largest economies, cooperation between the United States and China is vital not only to the security and prosperity of our own people, but is also vital to the world.

Such cooperation is particularly important to the Asia-Pacific region, where both China and the United States are extraordinarily active. We are both Pacific powers. And I think many countries in the region look to a constructive relationship between the United States and China as a basis for continued growth and prosperity.

As we did at the G-20 in Cannes, President Hu and I, I'm sure, will be discussing issues related to economic growth, how we can continue to rebalance growth around the world, emphasize the importance of putting people back to work, and making sure that the trade relationships and commercial relationships between our two countries end up being a win-win situation.

And I look forward to the opportunity to also discuss a range of both regional and global security issues, including nonproliferation and denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, ways that we can work together on issues like climate change, and our efforts to jointly assure that countries like Iran are abiding by international rules and norms.

And although there are areas where we continue to have differences, I am confident that the U.S.-China relationship can continue to grow in a constructive way based on mutual respect and mutual interests. And I want to extend my appreciation to President Hu for the continuous engagement not only of him, but also of the entire Chinese Government in addressing a wide range of these issues.

So welcome, President Hu, and I look forward to not only a good discussion here, but also an outstanding APEC summit.

President Hu. I wish to thank you, Mr. President, for your warm invitation and welcome. I'm delighted to have this opportunity to come to the beautiful State of Hawaii to attend the APEC economic leaders meeting and to meet with you, Mr. President.

This is the ninth meeting between you and I, Mr. President, since you took office, and I look forward to a extensive and indepth discussion on China-U.S. relations, as well as major regional and international issues of shared interest.

As things stand, the international situation is undergoing complex and profound changes. There is growing instability and uncertainty in the world economic recovery and regional security threat has become more salient. Under these circumstances, it is all the more important for China and the United States to increase their communication and coordination.

China looks forward to maintaining and strengthening dialogue and cooperation with the United States, to respect each other's major concerns, appropriately manage sensitive issues, and ensure that the China-U.S. relationship will continue to grow on a sustainable and stable path.

This APEC meeting has drawn a lot of attention worldwide, and we appreciate the tremendous work the United States has done in preparing for this meeting. The Asia-Pacific region is the most dynamic region in today's world, with the biggest development potential. This region should become a region of active cooperation between China and the United States.

I sincerely wish this meeting a full success, and I hope that this meeting here will send out a positive message to the international community that economies in the Asia-Pacific region will reach out to each other like passengers on the same boat and work together to ensure the continued, steady growth of the economies.

Thank you once again, Mr. President.

President Obama. Thank you, everybody.

Note: The President spoke at 3:55 p.m. at the Hale Koa Hotel. President Hu spoke in Chinese, and his remarks were translated by an interpreter.

Barack Obama, Remarks Prior to a Meeting With President Hu Jintao of China in Honolulu Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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