Posts tagged: North Korea

State of the Union & China

By , January 28, 2010

State of the Union addresses are mandated by the Constitution, and like most requirements in life, are often dull.

Barach Obama's first State of the Union

Barach Obama's first State of the Union

The speech usually turns into a laundry list of the President’s priorities with little rhetorical flair.  Often the most exciting part is when the TV cameras pan the audience and catch Senators and Congress members misbehaving.  This year it seems as if everyone Congress member was “tweeting” on their blackberry.

So to spice it up a bit, we at China Law & Policy decided to analyze President Obama’s first State of the Union address in terms of China.

Not surprisingly, President Obama’s speech focused mostly on the domestic agenda.  But China was mentioned twice, although both times only briefly.   China was first mentioned in regards to the technology behind its fast trains.  Similarly, when President Obama brought up China a second time, it was in regards to its technological advancement and that the U.S. must not fall behind.  In both instances, China was used more as a foil than anything else.

More compelling were the points when China wasn’t named but perhaps should have been.  In terms of trade partners, President Obama stated that he wanted closer ties with Panama, South Korea and Colombia.  But this is likely less of a snub to China than the fact that the Obama Administration is waiting on Democrats in Congress to approve free trade agreements with these three nations.

China was also absent when President Obama discussed the nuclear threat from both North Korea and Iran.  In fact, no other nation was mentioned and while President Obama was very forceful in threatening the two countries with increased sanctions, his actions appeared rather unilateral.  This is in contrast to his predecessor; in George W. Bush’s 2003 State of the Union address, the President specifically mentioned China as necessary to reach a peaceful solution on the Korean peninsula.

Does this mean that the U.S. is not receiving China’s support on this front?  It’s hard to tell.  Given the American public’s focus on the economy, health care and the corruption culture of Washington, it’s not surprising that President Obama’s speech had very little focus on foreign policy.  To draw any conclusions from the little he did say is speculative, but at the same time is something to be aware of and to watch.

Click Here for a Transcript of the State of the Union Address

Administration’s Debreifing of Hu Jintao & Barack Obama Meeting

By , September 23, 2009

Subsequent to Presidents Barack Obama and Hu Jintao’s meeting, Administration officials met with the press to answer questions regarding what was discussed between the two. Below is a transcript of that Q&A session. Stayed tuned to China Law & Policy as we delve deeper into some of the issues raised during the two Presidents’ meeting.

THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
________________________________________________________________
For Immediate Release September 22, 2009
BACKGROUND BRIEFING BY
A SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL
ON THE PRESIDENT’S MEETING WITH PRESIDENT HU OF CHINAPress Filing Center
Waldorf Astoria

New York, New York
6:00 P.M. EDT

MR. HAMMER: Good late afternoon. We’re going to do one more readout for today, and I know there’s a conference call beginning in about 15 minutes. So that’s the window that we have. We have a senior administration official who will brief on the President’s just concluded meeting with the Chinese President Hu.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Good afternoon. The President had an hour-and-a-half meeting with President Hu. It had been scheduled for an hour. The meeting I would describe as friendly, warm. It’s the second time the two have met. They’ve spoken often on the phone. It reflects the fact they’ve had many conversations and they’ve now become easy and comfortable with each other. It was a conversation; it was not simply a presentation of talking points on the two sides.

The emphasis was upon common interests, how far we’ve come in building the relationship, opportunities that we have to build the relationship further, discussion about how the President’s trip to China later this year could fit in with that objective, candid discussion of differences.

The principal topics that were discussed were North Korea, Iran, climate change, and global economic recovery and bilateral — the bilateral economic and trade relationship. I think I’ll leave it there and open it up to questions.

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