Obama Nudges China on Internet Freedom

Openness makes nations stronger, president tells students
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Nov 16, 2009 2:12 AM CST
Updated Nov 16, 2009 5:37 AM CST
President Obama points to a member of the audience as he takes questions during a town hall style event with Chinese youth at the Museum of Science and Technology in Shanghai.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
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(Newser) – China and the US don't have to be adversaries and can work out their differences, President Obama told students in Shanghai today. "More is gained when great powers cooperate than when they collide," Obama said. But the president also prodded for more freedoms in China, reports CNN, telling students that Internet freedom makes nations stronger: "The more freely information flows, the stronger the society becomes, because then citizens of countries around the world can hold their own governments accountable."

"We do not seek to impose any system of government on any nation," Obama said. But such things as freedom of expression and unrestricted political participation "should be available to all people, including ethnic and religious minorities, whether they are in the US, China or any nation," he said. He made his statements at a town hall-style meeting in which he fielded questions from Shanghai University students. He met earlier in the day with Shanghai's mayor, and flies later to Beijing as his eight-day Asia tour continues.