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Hu’s Visit To Washington Throws Up Issues

Jan 16, 2011 9:10:50 PM - thesundayleader.lk

The US is beginning to doubt president Hu Jintao’s actual clout in China. The Chinese presidnet is in Washington for a period of 3 days to sort out and stabilize relationships between the biggest powers on the planet.

However, plans to come to a concrete bilateral deal during the visit itself have not fallen through, and China is still noncommittal on US demands of floating the Yen and opening up Chinese markets for US businesses. As the New York times reports, doubts are beginning to be raised over Hu Jintao’s actual sway in affairs of his own country.

The Chinese Commerce department has labelled the president’s suggestion to increase the value of the Yen as potentially disastrous to the Chinese economy which is still largely dependent on its exports. And even though the Chinese market has been opened up to a greater extent to US companies, plenty of red tape and other barriers still exist to slow them down if not discourage them altogether.

The US is desperate for a bilateral deal, calling for China to take responsibility and act like the global superpower it has become. At a speech during the visit secretary of state Hillary Clinton said “embracing the obligations that come with being a 21st-century power will help to realize a future that will give the Chinese people even more, in fact, unimagined opportunities, but that means accepting a share of the burden of solving common problems, abiding by and helping to shape a rules-based international order.”

But Chinese have so far shown strong resistance to play ball. And this ‘dissonance’ between the leadership and other elements of the power base may all just be an elaborate scheme  to stall for time. Another key item on the objective list of the visit is talks on China’s belligerent neighbor North Korea.

Assistant Foreign Minister Hu Zhengyue told Xinhua that “the peninsula’s denuclearization and the normalization of relations” was in all parties’ interest.

“China will continue to work with all the parties concerned and the international community to ensure peace, stability and prosperity,” he said.