The closing press conference of last week’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit saw President Barack Obama talking tough to China, criticizing several of China’s economic policies which work against the economic interests of the US and other countries.
Obama scored some major victories at the historic summit, achieving a crucial breakthrough in his push to organize a pan-Pacific free trade zone while also promoting the greater use of green alternative technologies.
“Enough is enough,” Obama cried, using unusually tough language with China, only one day after having direct talks with Chinese President Hu Jintao. Obama insisted that China stop “gaming” the international business community and begin to create a “level playing field” for US businesses and others.
“We’re going to continue to be firm that China operates by the same rules as everyone else,” Obama told reporters after hosting the 21-nation APEC summit in his native Honolulu. “We don’t want them taking advantage of the United States.”
Dragon Not Cowed
China’s response was swift and to the point: “Why should we abide by international economic rules that we had no part in writing?”
“First we have to know whose rules we are talking about,” Pang Sen, a deputy director-general at China’s Foreign Ministry said.
“If the rules are made collectively through agreement and China is a part of it, then China will abide by them. If rules are decided by one or even several countries, China does not have the obligation to abide by that.”