Fri, Jan 21, 2011 - Page 1 News List

Obama meets Hu, reaffirms TRA

POWWOW:Barack Obama met with Hu Jintao at the White House and said the US was committed to a ‘one China’ policy based on the Taiwan Relations Act

By William Lowther  /  Staff reporter in WASHINGTON

Michelle Obama wore what one of the TV networks described as a dramatic red, off-one-shoulder, floor-length gown designed by Alexander McQueen, the British designer who committed suicide last year.

The White House served d’anjou pear salad with goat cheese, poached Maine lobster, orange glazed carrots and black trumpet mushrooms, dry aged rib eye steak with buttermilk crisp onions, double-stuffed potatoes and creamed spinach. Dessert was apple pie and vanilla ice cream.

After-dinner entertainment was provided by an all-star jazz lineup.

Three top US congressional leaders — House Speaker John Boehner, an Ohio Republican; Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat; and Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader — turned down their invitations as part of a thinly veiled snub to protest Hu’s human rights record.

Obama and Hu also held private Oval Office talks on Taiwan on Wednesday, but later refused to divulge details.

While Taipei and senior US officials are certain to have been given a full briefing, there were no leaks of the details in Washington on Wednesday night.

Analysts speculate that Obama may have told Hu that the US intends to continue selling arms to Taiwan and that Hu would have registered a strong objection, leaving both sides to simply agree to disagree.

At this early stage, there are no indications that a breakthrough — or progress of any kind — was made.

Hu was scheduled to make a public speech later yesterday before he traveled to Chicago and the end of his three-day state visit to the US.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY AFP

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