Maintaining that the US and China are not "predestined adversaries", US President Barack Obama on Monday said his country does not seek to impose any system of government on any other nation but subtly pushed for greater freedom of expression in the Communist country.
The US does not seek to contain China's rise and he welcomes it as a "strong, prosperous and successful member of the community of nations," Obama said at an interaction with students the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum.
His comments came ahead of his meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao, during which, Obama said, he will focus on global economic recovery, nuclear disarmament, climate change and promotion of peace and security in Asia.
While making it clear that the US does "not seek to impose any system of government on any other nation," Obama said, "but we also don't believe that the principles that we stand for our unique to our nation."
"These freedoms of expression, and worship, of access to information and political participation we believe they are universal rights. They should be available to all people, including ethnic and religious minorities, whether they are in the United States, China or any nation."
Obama, who later arrived here for his maiden state visit to China, told the US-style Town Hall meeting that the world is fundamentally interconnected and power in the 21st century is no longer a zero-sum game.