Lalit K Jha
Washington, Jan 19 (PTI) Extending a red carpetwelcome to Chinese President Hu Jintao, US President BarackObama today said the two countries have enormous stake in eachother''s success, but gently reminded him about America''sconcerns on human rights in the Communist nation.
"At a time when some doubt the benefits of cooperationbetween the United States and China, this visit is also achance to demonstrate a simple truth.
We have an enormous stake in each other''s success,"Obama said welcoming Hu on the south lawns of the White House.Hu was accorded a 21 gun salute, as he arrived at the WhiteHouse for his formal welcome ceremony. A group of Tibetanactivists held a peaceful protest in front of the White House.
Hu arrived Washington yesterday on a four-dayState visit to the US, the first for a Chinese president in13 years and the third one for the Obama Administration afterIndia and Mexico.
With a 21 gun ceremonial salute, as Hu arrived atthe White House, Obama shook his hand and bowed his head justslightly.
Thereafter he walked with Hu as they greeted VicePresident, Joe Biden, and his wife, the Secretary of StateHillary Clinton, Defence Secretary Robert Gates and othersstanding on the South Lawn.
The two leaders then greeted guests and stopped bySasha Obama, who was standing with some kids and waving asmall Chinese flag. Moments later, Obama said the US welcomesChina''s rise as a strong, prosperous and successful member ofthe community of nations.
"Indeed, China''s success has brought with iteconomic benefits for our people as well as yours," he said ashe recollected the State visit of the then Chinese leader DengXiaoping some 30 years ago, which is considered as animportant milestone in normalisation of relationship betweenthe two countries.
"Looking back on that winter day in 1979, it is nowclear the previous 30 years had been a time of estrangementfor our two countries; the 30 years since have been a time ofgrowing exchanges and understanding," he said.
Obama said the US-China cooperation on a range ofissues has helped advance stability in the Asia-Pacific and inthe world. At the same time the US President gently remindedHu, also General Secretary of the ruling Communist Party ofChina, about the human rights in his country.
"History shows that societies are more harmonious,nations are more successful and the world is more just whenthe rights and responsibilities of all nations and all peopleare upheld, including the universal rights of every humanbeing," Obama said.