BEIJING — President Obama and President Hu Jintao of China pledged Tuesday to move forward with coordinated efforts on trade and financial reform following the global economic crisis, although neither side spelled out specifics.
Obama, on his first trip to China, and Hu appeared before scores of journalists at the Great Hall of the People in what was billed as a press conference. No questions weretaken, however, as both presidents simply read prepared remarks and issued a joint policy statement.
The statement focused heavily on economic collaboration, but also touched on issues such as North Korea, climate change and human rights.
“The major challenges of the 21st century, from climate change to nuclear proliferation to economic recovery, are challenges that touch both our nations, and challenges that neither of our nations can solve by acting alone,” Obama said. “That’s why the United States welcomes China’s efforts in playing a greater role on the world stage, a role in which a growing economy is joined by growing responsibilities.”
In his speech, Obama prodded China on currency reform. China’s yuan, which is no longer supposed to be strictly tied to the dollar, has been flat for months even though economists say it is undervalued. Hu did not address the issue.
“I was pleased to note the Chinese commitment, made in past statements, to move toward a more market-oriented exchange rate over time,” said Obama. “I emphasized in our discussions, as have others in the region, that doing so based on economic fundamentals would make an essential contribution to the global rebalancing effort.”
Obama arrived in Shanghai on Sunday evening and held a town hall-style meeting on Monday with local university students. He then traveled to Beijing for meetings with Hu and other top leaders. He leaves for Seoul on Wednesday, after a visit to the Great Wall.
Obama faces many competing pressures in China. The country holds more U.S. treasury bills than any other investor, but also has a massive trade surplus with the U.S. Obama has struck a more conciliatory tone than past American presidents, as tends to be his way, but also perhaps in recognition of China’s economic power.
“Going forward, we agreed to advance the pledge made at the G-20 summit in Pittsburgh and pursue a strategy of more balanced economic growth, a strategy where America saves more, spends less, reduces our long-term debt, and where China makes adjustments across a broad range of policies to rebalance its economy and spur domestic demand,” said Obama. “This will lead to increased U.S. exports and jobs, on the one hand, and higher living standards in China on the other.”
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast