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US-China relations have improved under my admn: Obama

President Barack Obama today said that the US-China relations have improved under his administration despite the two sides disagreeing on issues like currency and trade.

world Updated: Apr 14, 2010 11:57 IST

President Barack Obama on Wednessday said that the US-China relations have improved under his administration despite the two sides disagreeing on issues like currency and trade.

"The fact is that the relationship between my administration and the Chinese government has been very productive during the course of the last year and a half", Obama said at a news conference here in response to a question about America's differences with China.

"We started off working together at various multilateral fora - the first one in London with the G20. I then, out of the bilateral meetings that we had, worked with President Hu to set up a strategic and economic dialogue that looks at a whole range of areas in which the United States and China can cooperate. I made a visit to China that both of us considered very successful", he asserted.

Acknowledging that there are some areas where the two countries have got differences, he said, "Those disagreements are not new, and I have to say that the amount of turbulence, as you put it, that occurred was actually relatively modest when you look at the overall trajectory of US-China relations".

At no point was there ever a suggestion that it's not in the interest of both the countries to cooperate, and that they have not only important bilateral business to do but also they are two very important countries in multilateral settings that have to deal with issues like climate change and the world economy in concert.

Responding to a question on currency issue, Obama said that he had a number of frank conversations with his Chinese counterpart.

"As part of the G20 process we all signed on to the notion that a rebalancing of the world economy would be important for sustained economic growth and the prevention of future crises. And China, like the United States, agreed to that framework", he said.

"We believe that part of that rebalancing involves making sure that currencies are tracking roughly the market and not giving any one country an advantage over the other. I have been very clear of the fact that it is my estimation that the RMB is under-valued and that China's own decision in previous years to begin to move towards a more market-oriented approach is the right one", he said.

"I communicated that once again to President Hu. I think China, rightly, sees the issue of currency as a sovereign issue. I think they are resistant to international pressure when it comes to them making decisions about their currency policy and monetary policy", Obama observed.

"All of that will be facilitated with a more market-oriented currency approach. So I don’t have a timetable, but it is my hope that China will make a decision that ultimately will be in their best interest", she said.

First Published: Apr 14, 2010 10:37 IST