American Morning

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January 18th, 2011
10:46 AM ET

VP of Asia Society: Chinese Pres. Hu Jintao's visit to U.S. is a 'big deal'

Chinese President Hu Jintao arrives in Washington D.C. today. Tomorrow he will engage in a high-profile meeting with President Obama to discuss trade, currency and a host of other issues. The United States has a lot riding on its relationship with the rising super power to the East and, as a result, many eyes will be watching to see how the meeting between the two leaders goes.

Eliot Spitzer points out on the Parker Spitzer blog that the differences between the U.S. and Chinese economies are still vast; however, the gap is closing quickly:


GDP: $14.7 trillion
Population: 311 million
Per capita GDP: $47,123


GDP: $5.7 trillion
Population: 1.3 billion
Per capita GDP: $7,500

China’s economy is growing at a rate of 10%, while ours is growing at 3%, and their enormous surpluses are permitting them to acquire critical resources around the world. "

Kiran Chetry talks with Jamie Metzl, the Executive Vice President at the Asia Society and a former State Department and National Security Adviser, to discuss the relationship between the two nations. He says, "Any major issue that the United States or the world faces in the 21st century will need to be addressed by China and the United States working together." Hear more from Kiran's interview:

Filed under: China • World
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. mike sey

    There seems to be an undercurrent of surprise that China acts only in its own interest. I'd like the surprised to give me one example of the US acting against its own interest rgarding China or anybody else. It has of course, but never knowingly.

    The notion of American generosity, altruism and capitalism always reminds me of Henry Ford raising the salary of his workers ( against his interest) so they could buy his cars (to his own benefit). Of course Henry was not above hiring thugs at the same time and gunning down workers to keep them from unionizing to ensure they didn't get too much out of his control or powerful.

    January 19, 2011 at 10:27 am |
  2. FutureofUSChinaTrade

    There has been much talk this week about the “economic rivalry” between the US and China. But that term – "rivalry" – suggests that US-China economic relations is some sort of zero-sum contest. When in reality the U.S. economy can grow the most when China's economy is at its best, too.

    True, there are plenty of legitimate complaints to be made about China: they don't protect intellectual property like other countries U.S. businesses operate in and they have held their currency under value. And China – just like the U.S., by the way – protects some domestic industries.

    But the Sino-American economic relationship is nevertheless the opposite of a zero-sum contest. The global economy – and the U.S. economy – is on whole far richer than it would be if China's economy had never "risen." As Nobel Laureate Ed Prescott has said, "Global economic integration is the path to riches and peace."

    President Obama and President Hu would do well to keep that in mind as they meet today.

    January 18, 2011 at 12:14 pm |