China plays down Obama's remarks on Xi

China today played down US President Barrack Obama's critical observations that the swift ascent of his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping by tapping into nationalism worries his neighbours, saying the remarks needed a closer study.

Beijing: China today played down US President Barrack Obama's critical observations that the swift ascent of his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping by tapping into nationalism worries his neighbours, saying the remarks needed a closer study.

"I have noted relevant remarks made by President Obama," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told media and said they needed a closer examination.

Hua recalled Obama's in-depth talks with Xi during last month's Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders meet in Beijing to establish a new type of relation between the two major powers.

Obama, in his remarks to a Business Roundtable of top US executives, said Xi has consolidated power more quickly than previous Chinese leaders in recent decades raising human rights concerns and worrying neighbours.

Obama said the Chinese leader has "consolidated power faster and more comprehensively than probably anybody since Deng Xiaoping."

But "there are dangers in that. On issues of human rights, on issues of clamping down on dissent. He taps into a nationalism that worries his neighbours," said Obama, apparently referring to concerns among neighbours over maritime and border disputes.

Deng, a reformist leader who took over power after Mao Zedong's death in 1976, is regarded as the most influential leaders after Mao.

Xi was named President by China's parliament in March last year, four months after taking over as General Secretary of the Communist Party. He was also named chairman of the state Central Military Commission in November 2012. 

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