Obama may be more assertive during meeting with Hu

Washington, Jan 18 (ANI): US President Barack Obama is likely to be more assertive with his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao, when the latter visits Washington later this week, American officials have said.

The decision follows Obama being criticised for his benevolence during his 2009 visit to China, and for allowing Beijing to gain the upper hand against Washington at the G-20 Summit in Seoul last year.

Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner has said the US would allow China more access to hi-tech American products and expand trade and investment opportunities in Washington provided American products are allowed into the Chinese market. Geithner said China's policy of keeping the renminbi cheap "sets off a dangerous dynamic" that encourages other countries to follow suit and risks touching off a destructive competition for jobs and trade.

The New York Times quoted National Security Adviser Tom Donilon as saying that the meeting between Obama-Hu meeting would include discussions on the bilateral business strategies.

According to Eswar Shanker Prasad, a former economist with the International Monetary Fund who now teaches trade policy at Cornell University, China's recent moves to restrict access to its domestic economy have led American corporate leaders to press the Obama administration to take a tougher stance this time.

"That's why Geithner was so blunt about saying China has to provide more market access. I think Geithner's speech set the tone very clearly about what they are trying to do. The language is very clear, and they are making the quid pro quo explicit," he said. (ANI)

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