U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States welcomes a prosperous and stable China, and announces that the two countries have agreed to significantly extend the terms of short-term visas to boost trade and tourism. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) China and the United States have agreed to significantly extend the terms of short-term visas, U.S. President Barack Obama said on Monday (November 10) in Beijing, a deal he said would improve trade and business ties between the world's two largest economies. Under the deal, which the United States will put into effect on Nov. 12, both countries would extend the terms of multiple entry short-term tourist and business visas to 10 years from one year, the White House said in an accompanying statement. Student visas would be extended to five years from one year. "But keep in mind last year 1.8 million Chinese visitors to the United States contributed 21 billion dollars to our economy and supported more than 100,000 American jobs. This agreement could help us more than quadruple those numbers. I have heard from American business leaders about how valuable this step will be and we have worked hard to achieve this outcome because it clearly serves the mutual interests of both of our countries," Obama told business leaders during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum after arriving in Beijing on the first leg of an eight-day Asia tour. The extension of some visas for Chinese nationals to 10 years matches what is currently allowed for citizens of nations with close relations with the United States, such as European countries and Brazil. Obama said the United States welcomes a prosperous and stable China. "The United States welcomes the rise of a prosperous, peaceful and stable China. I want to repeat that," he said. Obama said he hopes to make progress with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, on a bilateral investment treaty and more could be done to reduce barriers to trade. Obama said he looked to China to reject the use of cyber-theft for commercial gain. "We look to China to create a more level playing field on which foreign companies are treated fairly, so that they can compete fairly with Chinese companies. A playing field where competition policy promotes the welfare of consumers and doesn't benefit just one set of companies over another. We look to China to become and innovative economy that values the protection of intellectual property rights, and rejects cyber theft of trade secrets for commercial gain," he said. He called on world leaders to reduce trade barriers.