Videoconference with Chinese Bloggers

Uploaded by whitehouse on 20.01.2011

Mr. Wang: Morning, Jeff.
Morning, Ben.
You guys have the advantage over us, I can see,
because your bottled water is much larger than ours.
But anyway, of course it's evening over there, so, welcome.
I'd like to -- I'm Bob Wang, Deputy Chief of Mission at the
Embassy here.
And I'd like to start by welcoming our friends from
Washington across the Pacific.
Jeff Bader, of course, everybody knows,
Senior Director for Asia Affairs at the NSC.
And we have also Ben Rhodes who's the Deputy National
Security Advisor for Strategic Communications.
And I'm sure people here would love to hear your views about
the Hu visit and other things in U.S.-China relations today.
Here I'd like to welcome our bloggers from China.
Very exciting.
We have here seven with us in the Embassy.
But beyond that we also have quite a few who are online
bloggers and they will be asking questions as well and
participating in this event.
I'd like to start just by introducing some of the bloggers
here now at the Embassy.
To my right we have Michael Anti,
he's a long-term blogger he said starting in 2004, I believe,
who is particularly active on the Twitter as well.
Next to him we have Kato Yoshikazu,
who is as Beijing-based Japanese blogger who blogs in Chinese on
international issues.
He's also a professor at Beida, University on International Relations.
Next to him we have Wang Chong.
Wang Chong is an active blogger and a journalist as well.
And at the far end we have Yang Miao who blogs under the name "Gonwater."
I'm not sure why.
But it's a good name.
To my left I have Ma Xiaolin.
He is a very well-known blogger and founder of the very
influential, I think it's Bo Lian She and a blogging platform
for intellectuals, academics and others.
Next to him, Rao Jin, the founder of which is
a famous discussion board for Chinese youth in particular.
Then we have finally Huanqiu, a blogger who writes under the
name -- I'm sorry, he's not here.
Yu Ting --
Speaker: He's on his way.
Bob Wong: Yu Ting is here.
I guess he's another famous blogger in China.
So I guess we can now start.
With this I'll turn it over to the NSA to Jeff and Ben.
Mr. Rhodes: Great.
Well, we're real excited to have this opportunity to talk to you all.
I, as you said, am the Director of Strategic Communications
which includes our communications within the United
States, our relationships with the media and the press which of
course include our social media and bloggers here as well as our
traditional media.
It also includes the President's speech writing on national
security issues as well as our global communications.
And as a part of our global communications,
we've tried to broaden our horizons to include not just
traditional media platforms but also increasingly bloggers in
social media networks as well which is very much in line with
the President's own view of how to engage citizens here and
around the world.
As you know, he made great use of connectivity with bloggers
throughout his own campaign for the President which I worked on
and some of my colleagues here.
So we've tried in our relations even in particular in China to
highlight our use of the Internet as a communications tool.
That's why the President had the town hall meeting that you'll
all remember in Chenghai in which we were able to highlight
the -- some of the very interesting discourse that takes
place online in China and to take some questions from that venue.
And this opportunity, of course, was to continue that as we move
forward because again we are very aware of the work that you
do and many other bloggers in China and we want to make sure
that we're engaging with you just as we engage at the
government-to-government level and in other ways at the
people-to-people level.
I'll just say a few things about the State Visit and then turn it
over to Jeff who is really the point person here at the White
House on U.S.-China relations.
First of all, I'd just say that we believe that it's been a very
successful visit so far.
We believe that the State Visit was a critical opportunity to
advance the relationship that we've been building over the
course of two years between our governments between President
Obama and President Hu.
They've met eight times now and this visit was really a chance
for them to pick up an ongoing conversation that they've had.
And to do so a series of venues, at a private dinner here at the
White House the other night and then yesterday at a bilateral
meeting and then in the dinner that we hosted last night as well.
I think that we looked at a number of different issues.
I'd just point to a few categories.
On the economic side we obviously have been cooperating
very closely with the economic recovery over the course of the
last two years.
We've continued that cooperation here through the State Visit.
That included our, again, our continued coordination on global
economic issues.
It included some issues that are of great concern to the American
people in terms of increasing our exports to China in a number
of ways, not just in specific kind of contracts and activities
that U.S. businesses are undertaking,
but some of the issues that we look at in the course of our
relationship whether it relates to intellectual property or the
way in which U.S. companies seek government procurement
opportunities in China.
And we feel like we're able to make good progress on a range of
those issues.
And to make clear to the American people that this is a
bilateral relationship that has serious economic benefits for
the American people.
Serious economic benefits for the Chinese people.
Even as we have our differences and, you know,
we've had ongoing dialogue about issues such as currency that are
important to the American people as we try to move towards more
balanced growth in which the Chinese market is an engine for
global economic growth just as the U.S. market has been an
engine for consumption and growth in the past.
So we certainly address the broad range of those economic
issues: U.S. exports, currency issues, global rebalancing,
and the issues that are of great interest to the American
business community such as intellectual property.
And they were also able to have a dialogue with business leaders
here at the White House yesterday and President Hu was
able to continue that discussion today in the speech he gave to
the American business community here in Washington.
We also discussed a range of security issues in which the
U.S. and China have had ongoing cooperation.
Right now I think a focus has been on the Korean Peninsula and
the two leaders discussed how to align our approaches so that
we're reducing tensions on the Korean peninsula and moving
forward with our efforts to -- our shared interests in
long-term denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula.
We obviously cooperate on nuclear security issues as well
as on issues related to Iran.
We also believe that there is great potential for cooperation
that we're advancing on issues such as clean energy where both
the U.S. and China are making a significant investment in
working collaboratively.
We believe we can do more.
Science and technology, again, an area where there is potential
for the U.S. and China to amplify our own efforts by
working together.
And then issues related to the stability of the Asia-Pacific region.
The U.S., under President Obama, has really reengaged the region
on our bilateral relationships through regional organizations
such as the East Asia Summit or ASEAN or APEC,
so recognizing the importance of the Asia-Pacific to both us and
China, I think just discussions around the region were important.
Our view, of course, has always been that a cooperative
relationship between the United States and China advances the
security and stability of the region more broadly.
And when we're able to work together again it can help solve
particular challenges such as reducing tensions on the Korean
Peninsula but also provides a broader framework for
cooperation (inaudible).
And then of course they discussed issues related to
universal rights which are of great interest to the American
people and American foreign policy so they're able to have a
dialogue on human rights.
And this was an issue throughout the visit as well.
And I think I'd just, before I turn it over to Jeff, say,
that we believed we'd come out of here advancing the shared
view of the relationship that both U.S. and China have and I
think both Presidents have which is that we should identify
issues of common interest and aim to build cooperative
approaches on those issues.
We know there are going to be differences between our two
countries but we believe those differences are better managed
within the framework of a relationship that is cooperative
and that is moving forward and it has the kind of very regular
and high-level engagement that we've seen over the course of
the last two years.
I think that's a good place to hand it over to Jeff, again,
as the person who really has been the point person here at
the White House on the relationship and on Asia policy
more generally.
So, Jeff?
Mr. Bader: Thanks, Ben, I'll be brief.
I look forward to hearing your comments and questions.
I would just say a few words now on the overall message and
purpose of what we were trying to achieve on this visit.
I think there are myths and distorted and incorrect views on
both sides of the Pacific about the nature of our relationship.
And one thing we were trying to do was to clarify the actual
character of the relationship.
The myths, I think, on the Chinese side,
many Chinese believe that the United States seeks to prevent
China's rise and to contain China.
Neither of those is the case.
President Obama was very clear in his meetings with President
Hu and in his public remarks that the United States welcomes
a prosperous, successful China.
That we view China's rise as a positive thing not only for
China but for the world as a whole.
We do not see inevitable or a likely conflict between our interests.
We have certain expectations and hopes about the way in which
China's rise would affect the international community but
we're certainly not trying to prevent it.
A policy of containment would not allow 125,000 Chinese
students to study in the United States.
A policy of containment would not involve purchasing something
like 350 to $400 billion in Chinese products a year.
Those are not characteristics of a policy of containment.
On the American side, the chief myths that are widespread though
far from universal are that China --
that there is some sort of a zero sum game between the U.S.
and China.
That China's rise will threaten U.S. interests.
Will threaten the U.S. role of leadership in the global community.
That our economic interests are conflicting and our security
interests are conflicting.
We -- President Obama, in his public remarks was speaking as
much to American audiences as he was to Chinese audiences when he
was talking about his positive view about China's rise.
President Obama spent many years in his youth in Indonesia.
He, as a young boy, he grew up in a developing country.
He has a profound understanding and sympathy for the challenges
that a country experiences as they move from a relatively low
per capita income level into modernization.
That came through, I think, in all of his public remarks.
It came through in all of his meetings with the Chinese leaders.
I think that's one of the reasons why he is very credible
to Chinese leaders.
When they hear him they understand that he sympathizes
and empathizes with the challenges they face.
I'll just leave it there and open it up.
Mr. Rhodes: Great.
And the last thing I'd say before we hear from you is that
we did a lot of work to try to layout to the American people
and to the Chinese people in the global community our view of the
relationship through President Obama's comments.
We also had the capability of having our Secretary of the
Treasury Tim Geithner give a speech.
Secretary Clinton gave a speech on U.S.-China relations.
So I think over the course of the last few days we've really
tried to layout in a comprehensive fashion the view
of the U.S. government about this important relationship for
both of our peoples.
But again, in addition to just taking your questions we're very
interested to hear from you about your sense of things.
What causes of concern there are,
causes of opportunities and interests.
So with that we'd be happy to take any and all questions that
you might have and look forward to having a discussion.
Mr. Wang: Okay, Michael?
Mr. Anti: Hi, this is Michael Anti, a Chinese political blogger.
My question first is to -- my question first is to
Mr. Jeff Bader.
Washington Post report you will leave the position after Hu
Jintao visit.
Can you comment on that, that is the first tiny question.
But the second one will be bigger, that, you know,
in the first two years of Obama Administration few people think
Obama has a clear China of policy.
It's almost like the (inaudible) is too it's not,
it's the same as you know the second term of the Bush Administration.
Now people saying because like Obama said in the White House
yesterday we are meeting the next 30 years China-U.S.
relationship so it is a refreshing or resetting.
As far as we know, the China now has more cards in hand and
American has less and less cards.
So what's the real China policy in the next 30 years or next
years of Obama Administration and what's the framework with
the new China?
Because we really want to know what's the China policy of Obama Administration?
Mr. Bader: Well, first, on my personal future,
one of the reasons that we so value freedom of the press in
the United States is that when someone writes something
foolish, wrong and stupid, someone else can correct it and
the Washington Post reference that you mentioned was wrong.
I love my job and I'll stay here as long as I can.
So I appreciate the question.
I love working here.
I love working for President Obama.
I worked for him during the campaign and it's just an honor
and a privilege.
As for our China policy, it's not mysterious.
The speeches, the comments that President Obama made publicly in
his press conference, the speech that Secretary Clinton gave,
the speech that Ben referred to principally by Secretary
Geithner, we don't have a secret policy and a public policy.
We have one policy.
And that policy is laid out in those speeches.
And that's that, in broad terms, that we welcome China's rise.
We want to have a positive, positive and cooperative
relationship with China.
We think that there are elements of both cooperation and
competition in that relationship.
We want to maximize the elements of cooperation that the
relationship has -- there are major equities and political
security and economic issues.
As I say, many are cooperative; some are competitive.
That we are an Asia-Pacific power.
We intend to remain in the Asia-Pacific region.
We want to see China's rise consistent with global stability
and with international law and international custom.
As for who has more cards and what is the future of the United
States, in 2009 when President Obama took office we believe
that the United States had come off a rather bad year and bad
several years and what President Obama has done is to try to
rebuild American strength at home and abroad with
considerable success.
We started from a very difficult state two years ago, frankly,
inheriting a couple of wars, inheriting an economy that was
the worst in 70 years, an unemployment rate that was skyrocketing.
Fiscal deficits out of sight and the lowest prestige that the
U.S. had in enjoyed in my lifetime.
President Obama has set about reversing, reversing these.
I was at -- just the last comment I would make, I was at,
I attended the ball forum a few years ago,
I remember Li Quan Yu, Minister, mentor of Singapore,
gave a speech, a large audience including senior Chinese
officials in which he said some say that the 21st century will
not be the American century the way the 20th century was and
what Li Quan Yu said was I have seen many times in my lifetime
where people have bet against the United States and they have
been wrong every time; they will be wrong this time.
We think that we are turning around the situation and I have
no doubt that if you check in a few years you will see a very
different trajectory for American domestic and foreign
policy success than you saw two years ago.
Mr. Rhodes: I would just, I would add one point to what Jeff said.
You know, Secretary Clinton framed it this way in her speech
that we are at a critical juncture in the history of
U.S.-China relations.
And you alluded to it, you know, if you look back 30 years,
the relationship between U.S. and China was just becoming normalized.
We were just beginning our relationship diplomatically.
Over the course of those 30 years,
I think what's very notable is those 30 years have been very
good for both China and the United States.
China has seen an astonishing level of development,
has lifted millions of people out of poverty,
has risen as a power on the world stage,
and during that time, the United States has also seen its
economic fortunes improve, has seen the end of the Cold War in
a way that was, you know, very favorable for the kinds of
things that we believe in around the world.
And so, I think one of the interesting things is the first
30 years of U.S.-China relations speak to a time of great success
for both countries and that, frankly,
our relationship is part of the reason why we had that success.
The U.S. presence in Asia, the U.S. relationship with China,
helped advance the interest of China, you know, even as --
of course, it was the work of the Chinese people to produce
such development.
And similarly, the U.S. relationship with China, again,
helped advance the interest of the United States in the
stability of the region and, again,
in greater shared prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region.
And what we believe is over the next 30 years as we expect China
to continue to develop and to continue to play a larger role
on the world stage that we could have the kind of relationship
that is similarly a win-win relationship.
China will have more cards, as you say,
but we believe that that provides more opportunities for
cooperation in a range of areas.
So, for instance, a growing Chinese economy can be very much
in our interest, because that is an economy that, again,
provides a base for us to not just import goods from China but
to export goods to China to a growing middle class.
So we are not at all threatened by a growing Chinese economy.
We see it as an opportunity for American businesses and workers.
Similarly, a China that plays a bigger role on global issues can
be a partner, and that's what we've tried to underscore,
not just in issues like the hot button issues,
as we would call them, like the Korean Peninsula,
but on issues like clean energy, where we can kind of work
together to develop new forms of energy.
We have been very interested in bringing China into a
cooperative framework to deal with issues like climate change
that, of course, are a threat to both of our countries through
the Copenhagen and Cancun process.
Because, again, I think this is President Obama's fundamental
view is that the nature of the 21st century is that a lot of
these challenges cut across borders.
The challenge of economic growth,
the challenge of energy and climate change,
the challenge of nuclear security,
these are issues that aren't just unique to within the
borders of one nation.
They're the kinds of things that can affect different nations.
And so if we work together, we can form collaborative solutions.
Now, that's not to say that we're not going to have differences.
We will.
And we'll be able to address those,
but we should do so within the framework of a relationship that
is positive, so that even as we have inevitable differences,
we have the kinds of communication between our
governments and our peoples that can be mutually beneficial.
Take the next question.