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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees
Sarah Palin's "Going Rogue"; Congressman Jefferson Sentenced; Pres. Obama's Joint News Conference with China's President
Aired November 16, 2009 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight, the "Raw Politics" of Sarah Palin. She kicks off her big media blitz for her new book today on Oprah. "Going Rouge" is already a bestseller but some of the McCain staffers she is trashing in it say it's full of lies. Are those charges fair? We're "Keeping them Honest."
Also tonight, a surprising and frankly a confusing change in the guidelines for breast cancer screening. They used to say get screened at 40. Now they say that's wrong. We'll tell what you the new guidelines are now. All women need to know about this.
Dr. Sanjay Gupta takes us "Up Close."
And later "A Nation Divided" the long running battle over abortion now threatening health care reform; what exactly would the abortion amendment in House plan mean for all women?
First up tonight, Sarah Palin. Her new book, "Going Rogue: An American Life" hits bookstores tomorrow. Advanced sales as I said have already made it a best seller.
Palin kicked off her book tour today on "Oprah." We'll play you lots of what she said. Take a look at this, however, according to a new CNN Opinion Research Poll most people don't think Palin is cut out to be president; just 28 percent thinks she's qualified, 70 percent do not.
We'll see if after this book tour that she has changed any minds. So what is this all about? Is she just selling books, or is she planning to run in 2012?
Candy Crowley has the "Raw Politics."
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): With Oprah and then Barbara Walters on ABC, Sarah Palin is telling it her way.
BARBARA WALTERS, ABC ANCHOR: Towards the end of the campaign, the press reports quoted unnamed McCain aides calling you a diva. You know. A whack job, a narcissist; why do you think these people were trying to destroy your reputation? SARAH PALIN, FORMER REPUBLICAN VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, for some people this is a business. And if failure in this business was going to reflect poorly on them, they had to kind of pack their own parachutes and protect themselves and their reputations so they wouldn't be blamed.
CROWLEY: The problem with Republicans is that nobody speaks for the party so everybody speaks for themselves. There is no consensus on Sarah Palin.
NEWT GINGRICH, FORMER HOUSE SPEAKER: I think she is a smarter and more confident person than the image you've got in the McCain campaign. And I think that that will become apparent.
DAVID BROOKS, NEW YORK TIMES COLUMNIST: The idea that this potential talk show host is considered seriously for the Republican nomination, believe me, it'll never happen.
CROWLEY: Should she even want to run for president, Palin does face headwinds of five politicians. She was the lowest ranked in the latest CNN Opinion Research Corporation Poll on the question of qualifications to be president. Only about three in 10 Americans think Palin is qualified.
A party breakdown is a total reality check. Predictably very few Democrats think Palin is qualified. Most but not an overwhelming percentage of Republicans say she is.
But in a country where independents rule at the ballot box, just 29 percent say Sarah Palin has the credentials to be president. Republican consultant Mike Murphy, a frequent critic of Palin, calls her the Jesse Jackson of the Republican Party. "She has a constituency but not enough to get her nominated. Outside the party," he continued, "she's plutonium."
But notice that few elected officials are out there criticizing Palin because even if she proves not to be presidential material, she already has proven she is a political catalyst. She tweets, Washington reads.
LESLIE SANCHEZ, AUTHOR, "YOU HAVE COME A LONG WAY, MAYBE": She's relevant. It is unavoidable. She is influencing the debate not only in health care. She's influencing on candidates. You saw the conservative party at the New York election, New York 23. She shed light on that.
CROWLEY: There is no question that Sarah Palin is a tour de force, a celebrity politician and right now the emphasis is on celebrity. The question is whether she's a force to be reckoned with when the emphasis is on politician.
COOPER: That was Candy Crowley reporting.
Now just after the campaign ended some McCain staffers bashed Palin describing her as difficult to work with and worse. In her book, Palin turns the tables and gives her version of the story. Now, she's being accused by some of playing loose with the facts.
Tom Foreman got a hold of a copy of the book today and he's "Keeping them Honest" -- Tom.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Hi, Anderson. "Going Rogue" is quite a read and I should know. I spent all afternoon reading it and you can tell from my little Post-it notes here has been annotated as I went through. A lot of it is just really her personal feelings and memories, many of which match just fine with the record as we know. We have to give her credit for that.
But in some places she strays from the facts and in others her recollections are just not the same as other people who were there at the time.
Here's one point of example. We all remember that interview with CBS' Katie Couric that many political analysts felt was disastrous.
Palin suggests she was driven to give that interview by a campaign adviser who used to work with Couric, Nicolle Wallace. Here is what Palin writes.
"Katie really likes you, she, (Nicolle) told me one day. She's a working mom and admires you as a working mom. She has teenage daughters just like you. She just relates to you. And later Nicolle went on to explain that Katie really needed a career boost, she just has such low self-esteem."
All of that in one page. Well, I spoke with Nicolle Wallace who says this conversation simply never happened, calling it all a complete fabrication and saying no one connected with this book project ever called her to check that story or several others against her memories.
Other items we should point out. At one point, Palin criticizes some of President Obama's economic policies and says Ronald Reagan faced an even worse recession, that is her quote. That's not true. This recession has lasted considerably longer than that one. And a vast number of economists will tell you it's also hit harder.
Palin paints herself as champion of better ethics in government in this book. The Associated Press scrutinized her political records in Alaska and says they found several instances in which she appears to have used her power to influence decisions which were favorable to her associates. It's not illegal, to be sure, but hardly fitting the image of a reformer.
The governor we should note, the former governor had lit into the AP saying that they are really chasing ghosts here and that is not really fair what they're doing. She also raises an old accusation against John Kerry saying she thought he was a loon for saying if kids don't do their home work and get smart, they'll wind up in Iraq.
Well Kerry a long time ago explained that he was disparaging our troops in that comment but was making a joke about President Bush suggesting that he was not too bright for getting us into that war, Anderson.
In any event, when you read through the book, I guess that a lot of it is her personal recollection. And a lot of it is very much like the campaign, Anderson, on both sides where politicians just shape things, leave out certain facts to create a very positive image of themselves.
COOPER: All right, Tom. Thanks very much.
We want to know what you think about Sarah Palin. You can join the live chat right now at AC360.com.
Ahead on the program, Palin's book getting some backlash as we said from former McCain staffers. What does she hope to accomplish with the book and what she's going to do next. We'll "Dig Deeper" with our panel.
And later, new guidelines for breast cancer screenings say women in their 40s are getting too many mammograms. Dr. Sanjay Gupta joins us ahead to answer your questions. Text them to AC360 or 22360; standard rates apply.
COOPER: We're talking about Sarah Palin's new book and where she goes from here. In "Going Rogue," Palin writes about how McCain campaign aides tried to micro manage what she said and did, according to her. Oprah asked her about that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OPRAH WINFREY, HOST, "OPRAH WINFREY SHOW": You talk about extensively how you were told to stay on script. Were you surprised at how they were trying to, in many ways, control and force you to say things that you were not comfortable with?
PALIN: Well, at the end of the day, I'm the candidate. And if ever I got sucked into that and allowed that handling of me to the detriment of the campaign, that's my fault. That's not their fault. They were just doing, I guess, what the staff was hired to do and that was to write the script.
Though my team, the vice-presidential candidate's team, my handlers if you were, we never did really find that script. So we couldn't really stay on the script.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Oprah and Palin covered a lot of other ground in the interview including whether Palin plans to run for the Republican nomination in 2012.
Let's "Dig Deeper" with our panel: and joining me are Dede Scozzafava, a Republican who dropped out of a recent race for the New York Congressional seat after Sarah Palin and others backed the more conservative party candidate and her poll numbers dropped; also, CNN political contributor and Republican strategist Mary Matalin; and CNN senior political analyst, David Gergen.
David, so how did you read today? I mean, is this the ground -- is she laying the groundwork for a run in 2012?
DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: I don't think so, Anderson. Leaving the governor's chair early in Alaska was not a great career move if you want to run for president. It was a great career move to do exactly what she's doing.
She's varnishing a very large national reputation and she is making a lot of money. She and her husband and her family have not had much money. I would think that in 12 months or 18 months after she leaves the governorship, she stands to make somewhere in the neighborhood of $10 million.
COOPER: Mary, I want to play something that Sarah Palin said about the interview with Katie Couric.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WINFREY: Obviously, you read books and magazines. Why didn't you just name some books or magazines?
PALIN: Well, and obviously, I have, of course, all my life. I'm a lover of books and magazines and newspapers. By the time she asked me that question, even though it was kind of early on in the interview, I was already so annoyed. And it was very unprofessional of me to wear that annoyance on my sleeve.
WINFREY: But you can't think of any at the moment?
PALIN: No, it was more of like, are you kidding me? You are really asking me?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Mary, how do you read what happened today? I mean is this -- do you think she's laying the groundwork for a run?
MARY MATALIN, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: I think you have to be in the pressure cooker of a national campaign like that to know how really frustrating it is. That answer was preceded by she just come from a giant rally and was all pumped up and then she comes up against this question.
And of course and she's inferred that Katie was making fun of Alaskans for that reason.
COOPER: Which is not true, I mean, she keeps repeating this. And I mean, just -- I'm not here to defend Katie Couric but ...
MATALIN: That's her feeling. No and I'm not...
COOPER: But that's not what the question was.
MATALIN: But I'm not -- but I know what's that like to be on the other side of a reporter who -- from whom you could infer that they are -- and she had been pilloried.
But setting this as aside, can I just pick up where David left off, all this political talk, it's not a political book. It is a memoir. And putting on my publishing hat, a memoir for which she got paid a lot of money and she has to sell a lot of books.
And the outcome of this -- and until we see the outcome of this, we can't know how she's positioned or not positioned for a 2012 or even 2010.
COOPER: Assemblywoman Scozzafava, I mean you have a unique vantage point on this, obviously. How do you see her, Palin's political future?
DEDE SCOZZAFAVA (R), DROPPED OUT OF NY-23 CONGRESSIONAL RACE: Well, you know, it's difficult for me to tell at this point. I don't know enough about really the policies. I know she's talking about taking America back. But what I'm most interested in is, what is she going to do for America if she were to take it back.
So I'm interested in the policies that she sets forward. We've got serious problems in this country with unemployment. I'm interested in what she -- her viewpoints are on foreign policy.
COOPER: Do you think she has...
SCOZZAFAVA: ... and that needs some sort of determination.
COOPER: Do you think she is good for the Republican Party?
SCOZZAFAVA: Well, you know, my concern is -- yes, she's good. But she's also, I think, very divisive. What happened in my race -- she didn't know the area. She really didn't know my background. She certainly brings some excitement to it. But at the same time, I think she's a divisive and some what a polarizing figure at this point when I'm looking for a leader that can bring people together in our party.
COOPER: David, I want to look at what she said today to Oprah Winfrey about why the campaign failed.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WINFREY: Do you think in any way that if you had been allowed to be more of yourself and less scripted that there would have been a different outcome?
PALIN: Not necessarily. I think the reason that we lost, the economy tanked under a Republican administration; people were sincerely looking for change. They were quite concerned about the road that America was on with our economy. They did not want more of the same. They did not want status quo. And I think, unfortunately, our ticket represented what was perceived as status quo. And so I don't think that I was to blame for losing the race any more than I could be credited with winning the race had I done a better job as the VP candidate.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: It's so interesting, David, watching her. Because I mean she's -- people do not have -- there is no real middle ground it seems with her. People either really like her or really dislike her. And everybody -- it's like a Rorschach test - everybody kind of reads her answers differently.
GERGEN: That's interesting. I agree with that, Anderson. And unfortunately for her, she's got a very intense base. But your own poll shows 70 percent don't think she's qualified to be president. I must tell you, I -- in talking to others who've know her better than I do in watching and listening to her.
I think Mayor Newt Gingrich has a point when he says that she's smarter than most people think. And she should be given more credit than she gets.
But I also feel, had she run the campaign she wanted to, if she had gone out there and started talking to the press immediately after -- if she given that Katie Couric interview early, for example, I think she would have been slaughtered. Because she is so unaccustomed to speaking on a national plat -- forum, especially in the cauldron of a presidential race, it's a really tough game and look what happened to some very good people.
Dan Quayle was a lot smarter than people thought. But he really got, he got chopped up in that early going. So that's why they had to, I think, go to script and sort of keep her hidden from the press for a while. And I think that it would have hurt the campaign had she come out on her own and done what would have come naturally to her I think which was to go out and deal with a lot of press interviews early.
COOPER: Mary how -- do you buy this --- you know, there are a lot of the people from the McCain campaign have said and Nicole Wallace among that publicly have said you know, the conversation that she says we had never happened?
MATALIN: Well, I do know this having worked with Nicolle and Steve Smith; they are two of the most talented, brightest, professional operatives and wonderful people in the party.
So -- but everyone does have a -- has their own memory of how these campaigns worked. But picking up on what David just said and we've been in a number of the foxholes together, the role of the vice- presidential candidate is not to set the script. It's not to set the message. It's not to be out front. It's to be in the B markets and be an echo chamber. And you're not allowed to have your own opinion or set your own agenda. So if -- to that complaint, that's just how every campaign works and when the vice president's making news inside the campaign, that's bad news.
COOPER: Ms. Scozzafava -- go ahead David.
GERGEN: And Mary is right on all those points. Mary is right on all of those points.
COOPER: Assemblywoman Scozzafava, do you see Sarah Palin as trying to purge moderates from the Republican Party?
SCOZZAFAVA: Well, certainly in my race -- again, I don't think she knew the area. I don't really think she accurately knew my record. I think she gave an endorsement. And it seems like she was looking to purge moderates which, to me, is troublesome.
We need a strong party. We need a party that can go forward and a party that encourages some independent thinking.
When she talks about Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan is someone who worked hard for a vision that made people believe in the vision that he had. And I believe made the party stronger by bringing in lots of different viewpoints and setting us in a direction.
COOPER: Mary, do you -- you don't believe that moderates are being purged, is that right?
MATALIN: Just to speak to New York-23, the internal polling the day before Sarah Palin endorsed, Dede was in last place. Hoffman (ph) was already two points ahead of her. She had no impact. The DCC, the Democratic Campaign Committee ran $1 million of ads attacking Dede for raising taxes.
The Democrat was running to -- she was running to the left of the Democrat. What was divisive were Dede's record on -- with respect on card check, on stimulus, on taxes. That's what was divisive up there. Not Sarah Palin. She did not have literally or figuratively an impact in that race.
COOPER: Dede, I want you to be able to respond.
SCOZZAFAVA: Well, I'd have to -- yes. I just have to disagree with the tax situation and a couple other things that Mary said. And I just ask that she, as well as Sarah, review your facts.
COOPER: David, how -- what's interesting, too, is that basically it doesn't really matter. People will, for days now, argue about whether something she said is factually correct or not. But for the people who support Sarah Palin, it doesn't matter. I mean, it doesn't matter that you can point out all sort of inconsistencies.
GERGEN: I think that's right, Anderson. That is sort of just Washington games for them. But I -- here's what I think going forward beyond the fact that she's going to sell a lot of books and have high speaking fees and make a lot of money. I do think that yes, we all know that there is this populous surge in the country that shows up in TEA parties and elsewhere. She's going to be the darling of that set. People will flock to her.
This idea of having a bus tour to go out into smaller towns America, what Mary just called sort of the B markets of, you know, media, she's going to do really well out there with this book and with her -- she is very popular, she draws big crowds.
She's going to be helpful to people in 2010 on the Republican side. She'll choose some candidates. But I and I think she's going to have a -- I think she's going to have a significant voice among conservatives in the next few years. I do not think she's going to be the Republican candidate for president. And I doubt she'll run.
COOPER: Mary, I know you've been trying to -- have you read the book or you've been reading it?
MATALIN: I -- I read it. And I'm particularly interested in her philosophical framework. This is not a political book. It's a memoir.
COOPER: Does she go into the philosophy? I mean does she go into her framework?
MATALIN: Yes, she does in the final chapter. So it's a memoir. And people are parsing it like it's a political treatise. But the final chapter talks about her philosophical framework into which -- which is mainstream, common sense conservatism into which we can drop these specific policies going forward.
And David is 100 percent right. She is a huge asset to these campaigns in 2010. And then she's been saying in these interviews and she says in the book there are many ways to make an impact on the future of the country and on policies besides running for office. And I think he's -- I think he's got where she wants to go as to make an impact and take care of her family before we look at the next office.
COOPER: We're going to have to leave it there. Assemblywoman Scozzafava, I appreciate you being on and David Gergen and Mary Matalin as well thank you.
Sarah Palin wants to be...
SCOZZAFAVA: Thank you.
COOPER: Your friend she's on Facebook. You can go to AC360.com to see how she's communicating her message through social networks.
Still ahead though tonight, this is an unbelievable story. Former Louisiana Congressman William Jefferson now a convicted felon. He's going to spend the next 13 years in prison. But get this -- he gets to keep his pension paid for with your tax dollars. So who came up with that rule? Guess. We're "Keeping them Honest."
Plus, a collision of politics and health care. And why an abortion amendment in the House Reform Bill could make it harder and more expensive for many women to get abortions in this country.
We'll be right back.
COOPER: Still ahead, new details in the heart-wrenching saga of Elizabeth Smart. Seven years after the Utah teen's abduction will her kidnappers finally face justice?
First, though, Erica Hill has the "360 News and Business Bulletin" -- Erica.
ERICA HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, in his first visit to China, President Obama today declaring the U.S. And Chinese share a quote, "Burden of Leadership." Speaking before university students, the president prodded China to take a bigger role on global issues ranging from climate change to nuclear proliferation.
Mr. Obama also appearing tonight in a joint news conference with Chinese President Hu Jintao; we'll have that for you coming up live in our next hour.
Back states side: General Motors announcing today plans to start repaying billions of dollars in debt to U.S. taxpayers, this despite a third quarter loss of $1.2 billion which was actually lower than expected.
The shuttle "Atlantis" is heading for the International Space Station. Its mission: deliver nitrogen and gas tank and some other spare parts. Now according to NASA this delivery will actually add years to the space station's life after the U.S. space shuttle fleet is retired next year.
And the thrill of victory leaves Titans owner Bud Adams $250,000 in the hole. The NFL fined 86-year-old for making an obscene gesture...
COOPER: And not just one, like multiple.
HILL: Well, that will you get you a quarter of a million fine. He made the gesture apparently at Buffalo fans after Tennessee's victory over the Bills on Sunday. Adams then later apologized explaining that he just got caught up in all the excitements.
COOPER: Wow. He's like letting go double-handed.
HILL: You know?
COOPER: Wow. All right a quarter of a million dollars.
HILL: His team.
COOPER: I guess so.
Time now for our "Beat 360" winners: our daily challenge to viewers, a chance to show up our staffers by coming up with a caption better than the one we can come up with for a photo that we put on the blog. So tonight's photo: Hulk Hogan arriving at the Sydney Airport ahead of Australian Hulk-a-mania tour.
HILL: Bring it.
COOPER: Yes, apparently I guess pointing to his bicep, I think. The staff winner tonight is Eli. His caption, "How about we send these guns for our troops in Afghanistan, Mr. President?"
And the viewer winner is Kevin Haggett (ph) from Toronto and his caption, "Until you scrolled up and saw my head, I bet you thought was that Anderson Cooper guy, right?"
HILL: AC, working up the guns. Don't deny it.
COOPER: Yes, I know. Kevin, your "Beat 360" t-shirt in on the way. Reluctantly.
Up next, an ex-congressman caught with $90,000 cash in his freezer was sentenced to prison. But he still gets to keep his pension, the pension that you and I and all of us are paying for. It's your money and we're "Keeping them Honest."
Also ahead, major health news for woman: a government panel recommends that women in their 40s should stop getting routine mammograms. Why would they say this when mammograms save so many lives? 360 MD Sanjay Gupta is going to join us. He'll answer your questions; text them to AC360 or 22360 and standard rates apply.
COOPER: The former Louisiana Congressman who had $90,000 in cash stashed in his freezer is headed to prison. William Jefferson was sentenced on Friday to 13 years in prison followed by three years of supervised release. He faced up to 150 years behind bars.
The ex-Democratic congressman lost his freedom but he gets to keep collecting his pension. He's not the only one. And you're paying for it.
Joe Johns tonight is "Keeping Them Honest."
JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): You might think former Democratic Congressman William Jefferson just sentenced to 13 years in prison for taking hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes would be just about the last guy on earth to get a pension paid for with your taxpayer dollars. After all, he's a towering symbol of political corruption.
He will forever be known as the congressman who got caught red- handed with $90,000 of FBI sting money in his freezer. But what's perhaps even more outrageous than the frozen cash, Jefferson is still eligible to receive a full Congressional pension for the rest of his life.
STEVE ELLIS, TAXPAYERS FOR COMMON SENSE: The taxpayers are going to see that he's trading in his pinstripes for prison stripes. He's still going to get pension funds paid for by them, tens of thousands of dollars while he's sitting in a cell.
JOHNS: Wait a minute. Two years ago Congress passed a law called the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act. It's supposed to prohibit Congressional convicts from getting their pensions. And, yet, guys like Jefferson who committed their crimes before Congress passed the law can still get the money. Sounds like a loophole. But the constitution says you can't enforce a law retroactively.
ELLIS: It's only if you committed your crime after the date the bill was enacted. So as long as lawmakers did their dirty deeds before September 14th, 2007, they got a "get out of jail" free card. Or at least "get a pension in jail" free card.
JOHNS: But don't think we're singling out William Jefferson. A long list of Congress members have made their way from Capitol Hill to prison and still managed to keep their pensions intact.
California Republican Duke Cunningham also convicted for bribery and in prison for eight years gets a combined Congressional military pension of $64,000 a year.
Former Democratic Congressman Jim Traficant of Ohio convicted for bribery and tax evasion did his time and now he's out, receiving a $40,0000 a year pension.
And former House Ways and Means chairman Dan Rostenkowski, also a Democrat, was released from prison years ago with a whopping $125,000 a year pension.
In all, you, the taxpayer, are on the hook for about half a million dollars a year in pension payments for former members of Congress who went to prison.
COOPER: So, Joe, I mean basically they passed this law in Congress two years ago to stop Congressional convicts from getting their pensions. But they made it possible for anyone who is currently in Congress at that time and have committed the crime, basically, they gave themselves, as the guy said, "get a pension in jail" card.
JOHNS: Pretty much. And there are some other loopholes. I think legitimate loopholes, including if, say, you commit a violent crime, you just might get to keep that pension. But if you commit a handful of serious corruption crimes, bribery, fraud, that sort of thing, your pension can be taken away if you're in Congress.
Also, another loophole, spouses of convicted members of Congress can get some of the money that disgraced member isn't entitled to -- Anderson.
COOPER: Amazing. Joe, appreciate it. Joe "Keeping Them Honest" thanks. Tell us what you think during the live chat right now at AC360.com.
Up next, 360 MD Sanjay Gupta answering your questions about women and breast cancer; the government says women in their 40s should not get routine mammograms. What should do you? It's confusing; text your questions to AC360 or 22360.
Also ahead, abortion: what the new health care reform effort may mean for the future of it in this country. And why they make it much harder for a woman to get abortion.
We'll be right back.
(INTERRUPTED BY A LIVE EVENT)
HU JINTAO, PRESIDENT OF CHINA (through translator): President Obama, dear friends from the news media, ladies and gentlemen, I'm very happy to meet our friends from the press and media.
To begin with, I would like to extend on behalf of the Chinese government and people a warm welcome to president Obama on his state visit. Welcome to China.
Just now I had very good talks with president Obama. The two sides had an in-depth exchange of views on how to further bilateral relationship and our major regional and international issues of shared interest. The two sides reached broad important agreement. The talks were candid, constructive, and very fruitful.
Both President Obama and I believe that at present the international situation continues to undergo profound and complex changes. They're growing global challenges and countries in today's world have become more and more interdependent. And this context it is necessary to step up international cooperation.
Against this new backdrop, China and the United States share extensive common interests and broad prospect for cooperation on a series of major issues important to mankind's peace and stability and development.
President Obama and I spoke positively of the progress made in the China-U.S. relationship since the new American administration took office. We both agreed to continue to adopt a strategic and long-term perspective, increase dialogue, exchanges and cooperation and work together to build a positive, cooperative and comprehensive China-U.S. relationship for the 21st century.
We also agreed to take concrete actions to steadily grow a partnership between the two countries to meet our common challenges in order to contribute to world peace, stability, and prosperity. We both believe that to maintain close high-level exchanges and dialogue and consultations at various other levels are essential to the growth of China relations. The two sides agreed that the leaders of the two countries will continue to stay in close touch through mutual visits, telephone conversations, correspondence and meetings on multilateral forum (ph).
The two sides spoke positively of the important role of the China-U.S. strategic and economic dialogues mechanism in enhancing the mutual trust and cooperation between the two countries. The two sides will continue to follow-through on the outcomes of the first round of the China-U.S. strategic and economic dialogues held in July this year and will start as early as possible to make preparations for the second round to be held in summer next year in Beijing.
We also exchanged views on the current economic and financial situation. We believe that now the world economy has shown some positive signs of stabilizing and recovery.
But the foundation for this recovery is not firmly established. The two sides reiterated that they will continue to increase dialogue and cooperation in macroeconomic and financial policies. And they will continue to have consultations on an equal footing to properly resolve and address their economic and trade frictions in a joint effort to uphold the sound and steady growth of their business ties and trade.
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 stand (ph).
We both positively spoke of the important role of the G-20 summit in tackling the international financial crisis. Our two countries will work with other members and comprehensively follow-through on the outcomes of the various summits. We will also work together to continuously strengthen the role of G-20 in global economic governance, advance the reform of international financial system and improve a global economic governance to ward off and guard against future financial or economic crisis.
We agreed to extend our cooperation on climate change, energy, and environment. We also agreed to act on the basis of the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and consistent with our respective capabilities to work with other parties concerned to help produce positive outcomes out of the Copenhagen conference.
The competent (ph) departments of China and We have already signed a number of cooperation agreements including the MOU to enhance cooperation on climate change, energy, and environment. The two sides have also officially launched the initiative of developing a China- U.S. Clean Energy Research Center.
Both President Obama and I said that we are willing to act on the bases of mutual benefit and reciprocity to deepen our cooperation on counter-terrorism, law enforcement, science, technology, outer space, civil aviation, and engage in cooperation in space, exploration, high speed railway infrastructure, in agriculture, health and other fields. And we also agreed to work together to continue to promote even greater progress in the growth of military to military ties.
We also discussed how to expand exchanges people to people and cultural exchanges between the two countries particularly the use exchanges. And we are supportive of the establishment of a people to people and cultural exchange mechanism and we agreed to strengthen our cooperation in exchanging students.
Both of us said that we will remain committed to dialogue and consultations in resolving the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue. And such approach serves the common interests of China, the United States and other parties concerned. The two sides will work with other parties concerned to continue the denuclearization process of the Korean Peninsula and six-party talks process in a bid to uphold peace and stability in Northeast Asia.
We both stressed that to uphold the international nuclear nonproliferation regime and to appropriately resolve the Iranian nuclear issue through dialogue and the negotiations, it's very important to stability in the Middle East and in the Gulf region
During the talks, I underlined to President Obama that given our differences in national conditions, it is only normal that our two sides may disagree on some issues. What is important is to respect and accommodate each other's core interests and major concerns.
President Obama on various occasions has reiterated that the U.S. side adheres to the one-China policy, abides by the three Sino-US joint communiques and respects China's sovereignty and territorial integrity when it comes to the Taiwan question and other matters. The Chinese side appreciates his statements.
The two sides reaffirmed the fundamental principle of respecting each other's sovereignty and territorial integrity. Neither side supports any attempts by any force to undermine this principle. We will continue to act in the spirit of equality, mutual respect and the noninterference in each other's internal affairs and engage in dialogues and exchanges on such issues as human rights and religion in order to enhance understanding, reduce differences and broaden common ground.
Ladies and gentlemen, the China/U.S. relationship is very important. To preserve and promote the growth of this relationship is a shared responsibility for both China and the United States. The Chinese side is willing to work with the U.S. side to ensure the sustained, sound and steady growth of this relationship to the greater benefits of peoples of our two countries and people throughout the world.
Thank you all.
Now we'd like to give the microphone to President Obama.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Good afternoon. I want to start by thanking President Hu and the Chinese people for the warmth and hospitality that they have shown myself and our delegation since we arrived.
We had a wonderful day in Shanghai yesterday, a wonderful discussion with China's young men and women. And I'm looking forward to the conversations we'll have and the sights we'll see here in Beijing over the next two days.
We meet here at a time when the relationship between the United States and China has never been more important to our collective future.
The major challenges of the 21st century from climate change to nuclear proliferation to economic recovery; they are challenges that touch both our nations and challenges that neither of our nations can solve by acting alone.
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. And that's why President Hu and I talked about continuing to build a positive, cooperative and comprehensive relationship between our nations.
As President Hu indicated, we discussed what's required to sustain this economic recovery, so that economic growth is followed by the creation of new jobs and a lasting prosperity. So far, China's partnership has proved critical in our effort to pull ourselves out of the worst recession in generations.
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. This will lead to increased U.S. exports and jobs on the one hand and higher living standards in China on the other.
As President Hu indicated we also agreed that maintaining open markets and free flows of commerce and both our nations will contribute to our shared prosperity. And I was pleased to note the Chinese commitment made in past statements to move toward a more market-oriented exchange rate over time. 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.