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Cablegate: Media Reaction: President Obama's Visit to Asia, China-U.S.

VZCZCXRO5283
RR RUEHCN RUEHGH RUEHVC
DE RUEHBJ #3152/01 3262315
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 222315Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY BEIJING
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6905
INFO RUEHOO/CHINA POSTS COLLECTIVE
RHMFIUU/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BEIJING 003152

DEPARTMENT FOR INR/R/MR, EAP/CM, EAP/PA, EAP/PD, C
HQ PACOM FOR PUBLIC DIPLOMACY ADVISOR (J007)
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL ECON KMDR OPRC CH

SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: PRESIDENT OBAMA'S VISIT TO ASIA, CHINA-U.S.
TRADE, AFGHANISTAN

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Editorial Quotes
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1. PRESIDENT OBAMA'S VISIT TO ASIA

a. "Obama's strategic concerns in focusing on Asia"

The Beijing-based newspaper sponsored by official intellectual
publication Guangming Daily and Guangdong Provincial official
publication Nanfang Daily The Beijing News (Xin Jing Bao)(11/20)(pg
A02): "Obama's claim that the United States is a 'Pacific country'
seems designed not only to please Asian countries, but also to
bluntly express the United States' strategic priorities, which have
shifted from an inordinate focus on Europe to a focus on Asia. In
his tour of Asia, President Obama gave people the impression that he
is modest. The China-U.S. Joint Statement was a high-profile
product of Obama's low-profile trip. The domestic and international
challenges confronted by Obama have caused him to put more emphasis
on cooperation with Asia. Obama's strategy is to ensure that East
Asia is prosperous while West Asia is peaceful, which will benefit
U.S. interests in Asia. Obama's comments about the U.S. not
containing China and welcoming a larger role for China in the
international system show that during his administration China-U.S.
relations have started on a high level and will continue to run on a
high level."

b. "U.S.-South Korea Free Trade Agreement is the touchstone of
Obama's trade stance"

Guangdong 21st Century Publishing Company Ltd.'s business newspaper
21st Century Business Herald (21Shiji Jingji Baodao)(11/20)(pg 2):
"The U.S. Congress did not approve the U.S.-South Korea Free Trade
Agreement, which was signed in 2007, until now. South Korea's
position on the issue is mild on the surface but tough at the core
by holding to the position that the FTA will not be renegotiated.
South Korea did not sit and wait for 'hand-outs' from the United
States, but instead recently signed a Free Trade Agreement with
Europe. The United States' attitude towards the U.S.-South Korea
FTA will serve as an indication of the Obama administration's
position on free trade. Obama knows he has to face mid-term
elections next November, which is less than one year away. If he
does not push for the passage of the U.S.-South Korea FTA before the
elections, then it will be delayed until 2011. That would be four
years after the signing of the agreement, and would clearly
demonstrate Obama's anti-free trade position. The U.S.-South Korea
FTA is clearly the touchstone of Obama's trade stance."

2. CHINA-U.S. TRADE

"Open high-tech exports to boost China-U.S. trade"

The official intellectual publication Guangming Daily (Guangming
Ribao)(11/20)(pg 8): "U.S. restrictions on high-tech exports to
China are one important reason for the trade imbalance between the
United States and China. Export restrictions are harming both sides
and benefiting no one. This policy is in fact a relic of the Cold
War. More insightful American intellectuals agree that unilateral
restrictions on high-tech exports will harm the United States' own
interests. If the United States eases its restrictions on high-tech
exports to China, the balance of trade will improve and trade and
economic cooperation between the two countries will expand. This is
a far more effective way for the United States to address the trade
imbalance than just being obsessed with the dollar-yuan exchange
rate. Unilateral barriers in this field will inevitably harm trade
flows between the two countries."

3. AFGHANISTAN

"Stability in Afghanistan is important for China"

The official Communist Party international news publication Global
Times (Huanqiu Shibao)(11/20)(pg 7): "Afghanistan's stability
influences not only China's economic interests, but also its
interests in the War on Terror and other regional situations. A
stable Afghanistan will help China achieve its broader regional
interests and guarantee the survival of the government in Pakistan,
China's traditional ally. Chinese experts said that China-U.S.
relations are entering a period of stability accompanied by China's
rise. Even if the United States continues to exert influence in
Afghanistan, it will not pose much of a threat to China.
Afghanistan is currently more of a burden than a negotiating chip
for the United States. However, an extremist government in
Afghanistan would pose a serious threat to neighboring countries,
affecting in particular stability in China's Xinjiang Province. At
this point, stability in Afghanistan is very important for China."

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