US Not Trying to Contain China: Obama

Clarifying that Washington was not trying to contain China’s rise, US President Barack Obama has said that trade between the two countries have to be more balanced.

In his address to students at a town hall-style meeting in Shanghai on first day of his visit to China, Obama said that Washington and Beijing must be adversaries was not pre-destined.

“We do not seek to contain China’s rise,” Obama said before taking questions from the audience as well as from Chinese over the Internet.

“We do not seek to impose any system of government on any other nation but we also don’t believe the principals we stand for are unique to our nation.”

Noting bilateral trade between the countries, Obama said that in 1979 when Washington set up ties wit the People’s Republic of China, trade was worth several billion dollars, compared to more than $400 billion now.

The president also said that American would enhance the number of Chinese students who could study in the US.

During his first trip to the communist country, Obama faces tension with it over issues such as trades, Tibet etc. The summit to be held will grapple with economic imbalances and the future of the yuan currency.

It should be noted that Chinese state-run Internet sites have urged public to quiz Obama at the youth meeting, specially to explain his plans to meet the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan leader whom Beijing calls a separatist.

In the summit between him and President Hu Jintao on Tuesday, trouble-spots such as North Korea and Iran, and efforts to forge a new climate pact would be covered.

Obama has said he will also raise the sensitive subjects of human rights, and sometimes tense trade ties and China’s yuan currency, seen by US industry as significantly undervalued and stoking unsustainable global economic imbalances.

At a gathering of Asia-Pacific leaders in Singapore over the weekend, Hu pointedly ignored international calls for his government to raise the value of the yuan and make Chinese exports relatively more expensive.

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