Wen and Obama's brief Bali encounter

Updated: 2011-11-20 07:32

(China Daily)

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BALI, Indonesia - Premier Wen Jiabao and US President Barack Obama vowed to keep bilateral ties stable on Saturday, amid subtle tensions between the world's two largest economies.

Wen and Obama's brief Bali encounter

China's Premier Wen Jiabao (left) meets with US President Barack Obama on the sidelines of the East Asia Summit in Nusa Dua, Bali, on Saturday. [Photo/Agencies]

The two leaders made the remarks as they met briefly on the sidelines of the East Asia Summit on Saturday.

Obama's national security adviser Tom Donilon told reporters after the session that Obama stressed the importance of China adjusting its currency value, while territorial disputes in the South China Sea were briefly touched upon.

Wen's remarks, though, were chiefly economic, Donilon said.

"China has been pushing forward market-oriented reforms of the formation mechanism of the RMB value and there have been notable effects," Wen told Obama, according to a news release by the Foreign Ministry.

"There appeared depreciation expectation in the Non-Delivery Forward (NDF) foreign exchange market from the end of September to early October.

"The situation is not man-made but is the market's response to the exchanging rate of the renminbi," he said.

The Chinese government is closely watching the situation and will adjust the value of the renminbi in a stable way, he said.

Obama said the two nations should understand each other's position and strengthen ties of "strategic significance", according to the news release.

The meeting, against the backdrop of a major US foreign policy pivot to Asia, demonstrated Obama's eagerness to show US voters that he is a staunch fighter for US jobs as the next year's presidential election draws near, said Niu Xinchun, a researcher with the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations.

The US's ailing domestic economy and high jobless rate have put creating jobs at the top of Obama's agenda. In Honolulu, Australia and the Indonesian island of Bali, Obama took every chance to talk about US job and export potential.

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