Chinese President Hu caps U.S. tour with Yale visit

As China roars toward becoming an economic superpower, it is mindful of the political paths taken by Western countries but has no plans to simply copy them wholesale, President Hu Jintao said Friday, wrapping up his four-day U.S. tour with a speech at Yale University.

Hu sought to quell fears about the effects of China's rapid development on the environment and the world's energy supply. But when asked whether his country's restrictions on political expression would hinder its economic growth, he said China would make those decisions for itself.

"On one hand, we are ready and willing to draw on the useful experience of foreign countries into political involvement," he said. "On the other hand, we will not simply copy the political models of other countries."

Hu pledged Chinese cooperation with the United States and said differences between the two countries, which include disagreements over monetary policy and human rights, can be overcome by their shared desire for peace.

Several blocks away, hundreds of protesters, including members of the Falun Gong spiritual movement, which is banned in China, waved signs and shouted anti-communist and anti-government slogans in Chinese.

"Hu Jintao is not telling the truthful story of China," said Sarah Liang, an American citizen living in Hong Kong who said her mother and brother are imprisoned in China for their Falun Gong membership. "He speaks of very positive things, but the real story of China is not being told."

Pro-government demonstrators also waved signs, some reading: "Warmly Welcome Chairman Hu Jintao to the United States" and "Bring China-U.S. relations closer."

Yale President Richard Levin, who has helped establish dozens of collaborative programs with China, welcomed Hu and said the future of the 21st century relied on a good relationship between the U.S. and China. Hu credited Yale, which in 1854 became the first American university to graduate a Chinese student, with being a steward of that relationship, reports AP.


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