BEIJING – U.S. President Barack Obama said on Monday his country “welcomes the rise of a prosperous, peaceful and stable China” and recalled that although the two countries are business competitors they also cooperate on a wide range of issues.
Speaking at a business leaders’ forum ahead of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit Monday, Obama cited the fight against Ebola, climate change and nuclear proliferation as some of those issues.
In an address of a decidedly economic character, Obama stressed the U.S.’s role in integrating China in the global economy.
Highlighting recent achievements of the U.S. economy such as the strong boost in gas and oil production and the growth in employment, Obama said there should be no doubt about the United States’ commitment to Asia.
He added that his country will continue promoting security and economic growth in the Asia-Pacific region so that it is balanced, strong and sustainable.
Obama said that the whole world will benefit if China and the U.S. work together.
Towards that goal, Obama proposed working on an ambitious bilateral investment treaty to open the Chinese economy to American investment and bring more opportunities to both countries.
Touching on some points of disagreement in the fields of trade, investment and human rights, the U.S. president expressed his hope for China to become an innovative economy protecting intellectual property rights and rejecting cyber-spying for commercial benefits.
He also urged Beijing to stand up for human rights and freedom of expression.
Such actions, he concluded, will lead to sustainable growth and stability in the Asia-Pacific region.