Chinese President Annoyed That Obama Made Him Take Questions


President Obama and President Xi Jinping promoted the virtues of cooperation between China and the United States on Wednesday, drawing an unusually productive state visit to a close with a news conference that nevertheless laid bare stubborn differences over issues like the Hong Kong pro-democracy demonstrations and press freedom.

Announcing a landmark agreement to confront climate change, Mr. Obama and Mr. Xi both portrayed it as an example of how the world's two largest economies could collaborate on the world's most pressing problems, even as they compete in many other areas.

"When China and the U.S. work together, we can become an anchor of world stability and a propeller of world peace," Mr. Xi said. Mr. Obama echoed that sentiment, calling the climate change agreement a milestone in the countries' relations that "shows what's possible when we work together on an urgent global challenge."

But it was the differences that were cast in sharp relief during a rare question-and-answer session after the presidents delivered their statements. During the planning for Mr. Obama's visit, the White House had lobbied intensively for reporters' questions to be taken, and the Chinese authorities relented only a day before the leaders stood together in the Great Hall of the People.