Ahoy there! President Barack Obama catches the eye of a sailor during China visit


Heads were certainly turned during Barack Obama's goodwill tour of China, as this cheeky sailor's expression reveals.

The American leader was inspecting the country's naval forces yesterday when the sailor dropped his mask of indifference and openly gawped at the president.

America and China emerged from hours of intense, closed-door talks yesterday after making little progress on the key issues that divide the two nations.

Hello sailor! A member of the Chinese naval forces seems taken aback as Barack Obama passes him in Beijing, yesterday

Hello sailor! A member of the Chinese naval forces seems taken aback as Barack Obama passes him in Beijing, yesterday

Despite reaffirming the importance of greater U.S.-China co-operation to world peace and stability, President Obama and President Hu Jintao were unable to disguise the deep differences that separate their countries on trade, security, climate change and human rights.

'The relationship between our two nations goes far beyond any single issue,' said Obama after the talks in Beijing which formed the centrepiece of his five-day tour of Asia.

China's President Hu Jintao(centre left) and U.S. President Barack Obama inspect honor guards during a welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing

China's President Hu Jintao (centre left) and U.S. President Barack Obama inspect honor guards during a welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing

Both leaders emphasised co-operation on security issues, but on Iran, where the U.S. needs China's clout to help pressure the nation to give up any of its own nuclear weapons positions, Obama spoke with sterner language than Hu.

'Iran has an opportunity to present and demonstrate its peaceful intentions, but if it fails to take this opportunity, there will be consequences,' the U.S. president said. Hu made no mention of consequences, saying it is important to resolve the Iran conflict through negotiations.

China has significant economic ties with Iran, and Beijing has appeared less willing to endorse a tougher approach to restrict Tehran's uranium enrichment and suspected pursuit of atomic bombs.

Time for some refreshment: Obama gazes at a waitress as he enjoys a state dinner reception with Hu Jintao

Time for some refreshment: Obama gazes at a waitress as he enjoys a state dinner reception with Hu Jintao

Obama spoke at length about the nations' joint interests and said, 'I do not believe that one country's success must come at the expense of another.'

The pair said they agreed on restarting the collapsed six-nation effort to rid North Korea of its nuclear programs, with Hu adding that the effort was essential to 'peace and stability in northeast Asia.' Beijing has supported sterner sanctions against Pyongyang for its continued nuclear weapons program, though it has done little to enforce them against its neighbour and ally.

Speaking about economic issues, Hu made a thinly-veiled attack on recent U.S. trade measures against Chinese goods.

Both leaders emphasised co-operation on security issues, including Iran

Both leaders emphasised co-operation on security issues, including Iran


The summit of the two powers took place in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing

The summit of the two powers took place in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing

'I stressed to President Obama that under the current circumstances our two countries need to oppose and reject protectionism in all its manifestations in an even stronger stance,' he said.

The Chinese president also called on the U.S. to respect China's 'core interests' - code for ending support for Taiwan and for the Dalai Lama, in his Tibetan government-in-exile.

Obama obliged by saying that Tibet was part of China, but urged China to restart talks with the Dalai Lama's representatives - something Hu did not mention.

Taking in the sights: Obama tours the Great Wall in Badaling

Taking in the sights: Obama tours the Great Wall in Badaling

Obama said China has helped the United States pull out of the worst recession in a generation and said a revised economic approach will help increase U.S. exports and create jobs while helping bring about higher living standards in China.

On climate, Obama said the United States and China are looking for a comprehensive deal during next month's climate change summit that will 'rally the world.'

He said the goal at the Copenhagen meeting should be an agreement that has 'immediate operational effect, not just a political declaration'.

Sightseeing in Beijing's Forbidden City was sandwiched in between their talks and the day ended with a lavish state dinner in the American president's honour.

The president also managed to squeeze in a five minute meeting with his half-brother while in Beijing.

Obama met with Mark Okoth Obama Ndesandjo, who shared the same father as him, on Monday.

Ndesandjo recently launched a novel in which he described being abused by his father.

In an interview with CNN, Obama said he didn't know his half-brother very well, but he did not feel Ndesandjo was betraying private family details in his book.


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