Ahead of Visit, China's Hu Talks 'Common Ground'
Provides written answers to cherry-picked questions
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 16, 2011 1:21 PM CST
In this undated photo released on Friday, Dec. 31, 2010 by China's Xinhua News Agency, Chinese President Hu Jintao delivers a New Year address in Beijing.   (AP Photo/Xinhua, Lan Hongguang)

(Newser) – Chinese President Hu Jintao is speaking to the American media—albeit through written answers to questions he selected from lists submitted to him by the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal—for the first time since 2008. Among the topics? "Common ground," the dollar, and the yuan. Hu, who will be in Washington this week for a state visit, said China and the US could both gain by finding "common ground" on issues like fighting terrorism, clean energy, and nuclear proliferation—and only "stand to ... lose from confrontation." Other highlights:

  • On US criticism of his country's internal affairs: Hu seemed to pooh-pooh it, notes the Post, writing the two should "respect each other's choice of development path."
  • On the dollar's role as global reserve currency: "The current international currency system is the product of the past."
  • On the yuan: It "has played a role in the world economic development. But making [the yuan] an international currency will be a fairly long process."
  • Regarding the economic crisis of 2008: It reflected "the absence of regulation in financial innovation" and "its root cause lies in the serious defects of the existing financial system."
  • One such defect: "International financial institutions failed to fully reflect the changing status of developing countries in the world economy and finance."
  • The questions he didn't answer: Those having to do with Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo, China's growing naval power, and alleged Chinese cyberattacks.
Click for more on Washington's plans for this week's "lavish state banquet."