Sat, Apr 22, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Meeting with Bush only embarrassed Hu, analysts say

By Chang Yun-ping  /  STAFF REPORTER

The meeting between the US President George W. Bush and the Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) at the White House on Thursday turned into a farce after interruptions and missteps marred what was supposed to be a well-orchestrated diplomatic ceremony, political observers said yesterday.

"It was a ridiculous and embarrassing situation for Hu. Beijing's hopes that Bush would strongly censure Taiwan during the meeting were totally shattered," said Cao Changqing (曹長青), a former journalist in China who lives in New York.

Cao, who has been banned from returning to China, made the comments at a press conference held by the pro-independence Taiwan Advocates think tank to comment on the just-concluded Bush-Hu meeting and its implications for US-China-Taiwan relations.

Cao said the meeting was "entertaining and educational" as Hu was challenged by protestors, took sharp questions from reporters about democracy in China and faced Bush's unwillingness to make any adverse comments about Taiwan independence.

"The two leaders spoke about totally different things. Bush wanted the trade deficit and human rights issues in China to be discussed and had a soft touch on the Taiwan issue, while Hu only cared about denouncing Taiwan independence," Cao said.

Hu Ping (胡平), editor-in-chief of Beijing Spring magazine and a Chinese democracy activist in the US, said Bush's uncompromising posture reflected the US government's uneasiness towards China's strategy of using its economic clout to win political concessions from the US administration.

Hu Ping noted that Hu Jintao sent a message to the US government that China was able to influence major US capitalists, after he met with Microsoft chairman Bill Gates and Boeing executives in Seattle and promised to buy more than 2,000 Boeing airplanes.

"The way that China challenges American capitalism made the US government take countermeasures to communicate its displeasure to China," Hu said.

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