US wants stronger ties with China: Obama

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Tokyo, Nov.14 (ANI): The United States wants stronger and improved ties with China, said President Barack Obama in a wide-ranging speech on his first trip to Asia as president.

"I know there are many who question how the United States perceives China's emergence. In an interconnected world, power does not need to be a zero-sum game, and nations need not fear the success of another," the New York Times quoted Obama as telling an audience in Tokyo's Suntory Hall.

Obama spoke at length about human rights, but never connected the pursuit of such rights specifically to China and Tibet, where Beijing-backed authorities have clamped down on religious freedom.

Instead, he clearly sought to avoid alienating Beijing on the eve of his inaugural visit to China, struck broader themes, saying, "Supporting human rights provides lasting security that cannot be purchased any other way."

Declaring himself "America's first Pacific president", Obama previewed many of the themes that will shadow him during his weeklong trip, which will also include stops in Singapore, Shanghai, Beijing and Seoul.

He called on North Korea to return to talks aimed at reining in its nuclear weapons program or face even greater isolation; he urged the military government in Myanmar to release opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi ; and he pledged to "never waver in speaking for the fundamental values that we hold dear."

Obama projected a more conciliatory America, which is trying to break from the past.

On Myanmar, for example, he pledged that he would "be the first American leader to meet with all 10 ASEAN leaders."

As he has on many of his trips abroad, Obama painted a picture of an America that is willing to learn from its mistakes?

In particular, he said, the United States and Asia must grow out of the imbalance of American consumerism and Asian reliance on the United States as an export market, a cycle he called imbalanced.

"One of the important lessons this recession has taught us is the limits of depending primarily on American consumers and Asian exports to drive growth," he said.

"We have now reached one of those rare inflection points in history where we have the opportunity to take a different path," he added. (ANI)

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