President Obama opened bilateral talks with China today with a friendly speech, saying the US-China relationship would “shape the 21st century” and highlighting areas in which the nations have common interests, like nuclear proliferation, terrorism, and the global economy. He also touched on climate change, noting that the US and China are the world’s top energy consumers. “Common sense calls upon us to act,” he said.
He skimmed over the differences between the countries, saying, “Support for human rights and human dignity is ingrained in America,” but adding, “These are not things that we seek to impose—this is who we are.” He also gently touched on the Darfur issue, calling for a “renewed push to end the suffering” there. China has been criticized for supporting the Sudanese government.