US President Barack Obama welcomed Chinese President Xi Jinping with a 21-gun salute as a military band paraded for the leaders and dignitaries.
Protesters were kept well away, but their chants could be heard faintly drifting across the South Lawn.
President Obama was keen to stress that the talks were direct and to the point: “Even as our nations cooperate, I believe – and I know you agree – that we must address our differences candidly. The United States will always speak out on behalf of fundamental truth. We believe that nations are more successful and the world makes more progress when our companies compete on a level playing field and disputes are resolved peacefully.”
The pair were keen to cite a joint climate change agreement that they will present
at the climate change conference in Paris in November.
Bonnie Glaser, is from
the Center for Strategic and International Studies:
“It has been a challenge, I think, for the Obama administration to develop cooperative relations with Beijing. The areas where our interests intersect are limited. But where they do intersect, we’ve had some progress.”
Our correspondent in Washington, Stefan Grobe, witnessed events:“Despite the red-carpet treatment for the Chinese leader, there seems to be little personal warmth between Obama and Xi Jinping – and even less trust.
China’s growing assertiveness has taken Washington off-guard more than once. Yet, Obama still believes that China wants to be a responsible global partner with the United States.”