Sat, November 21, 2009
China > China & World > US president Obama's first Asia tour

Envoy criticizes US media over Obama visit

2009-11-21 07:58:08 GMT2009-11-21 15:58:08 (Beijing Time)  China Daily

The US ambassador to China on Friday hit out at the American media for their negative coverage of US President Barack Obama's visit to China, saying they had failed to take into account important progress on many issues.

The trip was the top news story in China, drawing strong interest from the Chinese public who, surveys suggested, were largely positive in their view of the US president.

But much of the American media coverage was strongly negative, accusing Obama of failing to gain concessions on crucial issues such as Iran's nuclear program and climate change, as well as being weak on human rights.

US ambassador Jon Huntsman said the reports missed the fact that the visit resulted in important progress on cooperation in areas such as clean energy, military-to-military exchanges and stopping the spread of nuclear weapons.

"I attended all those meetings that President Obama had with (Chinese President) Hu Jintao and (Premier) Wen Jiabao," Huntsman said.

"I've got to say some of the reporting I saw afterward was off the mark. I saw sweeping comments about things that apparently weren't talked about," he said.

Huntsman made the remarks during a question-and-answer session with Chinese and American students attending an international relations program at Peking University.

He said criticisms of limited Chinese exposure for Obama's remarks at a town hall-style meeting with students in Shanghai on Monday failed to consider the ubiquity of the Internet and blogging in China, where 350 million people use the Web.

"Go check some time and see how messages bounce around from website to website and blogger to blogger for a very long period and you'll get a sense of what the communication revolution is all about," Huntsman said.

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