FW: Pool report #9b -- More from the toast

From: Tau, Byron [mailto:xxx@email.com]
Sent: Friday, September 25, 2015 9:03 PM
To: Gabriel, Brian
Subject: Pool report #9b -- More from the toast

Obama opened his toast by welcoming the Chinese president, Chinese officials and guests to the White House. "We honor the ties between our nations and our people," Obama said.

This is a rush transcription from my not-so-awesome audio from President Obama:

"During our visit to China, Michelle and I experienced the traditions, the culture, the cuisine and the civilization that spans thousands of years. I understand that in China there's a saying 'Food is heaven.' I dare not stand in the way of the divine so I'll be brief. Today President Xi and I agreed to expand the cooperation between our two nations. I know that some in both countries and around the world question whether we can sustain the cooperation that we need and the world needs. I think we can draw encouragement from the ties that have long connected our people. I think of the American Airmen during the Second World War who went down over China. Chinese villagers sheltered them, fed them, clothed them and treated their wounds. And decades later, one Chinese man said of the American man said of the American he saved: 'He's like the thumb on the hand and I'm like the finger. We are brothers together.' I think of the ties that are forged every single today and that we've worked to expand in our work today. American tourists in China, visiting the Forbidden City and the great wall. Chinese tourists visiting our statue of liberty and independence hall. Our students who cross the Pacific to learn from each other. Our scientists who discover new treatments together. Our health workers who fought Ebola together. There will be times where there are differences between our two countries. That's inevitable. There will be time where our interests entirely overlap. But what I think will be sustained is friendship between our peoples, the foundation of the ties between our nations. Just as you say in China, that a sea accepts a hundred rivers, our countries together are stronger as when we accept the diversity of the views and the contributions and uphold the rights of all our people. So I propose a toast: To the people of China and the people of the United States, may they work together like fingers on the same hand in friendship and in peace."

From President Xi, through a translator. My audio is worse on this event but here are some quotes to get folks started. Will try to find a better recording from my fellows in the press corps.

"Mr. President and Mrs. Obama, ladies and gentlemen, dear friends. Good evening. It gives me great pleasure to attend this great dinner. On behalf of the Chinese delegation and in the name of my wife and myself, I wish to extend heartfelt thanks to you, Mr. President and to Mrs. Obama."

"My state visit to the United States is an unforgettable journey. From the west coast to the east coast, what strikes me most is that the American people have a lot of goodwill towards the Chinese people. And therefore, much more can be accomplished through enhanced China-U.S. cooperation. I want to assure you that such goodwill is fully reciprocated by the Chinese people. Since yesterday evening, I have had three meetings with President Obama."

President Xi said the two had a candid exchange of views about the major issues in those meetings.

Related a story about his wife's visit to the panda enclosure. "This morning my wife and Mrs. Obama visited the panda house at the National Zoo." Says his wife was "deeply touched" by the interest of American students in pandas and China.

"Mr. President and Mrs. Obama, ladies and gentlemen, dear friends. As an ancient Chinese saying goes 'Only those who take actions can achieve their goals. Only those who stride forward can reach their destination.' President Abraham Lincoln once said 'the best way to predict the future is to create it.' And lets continue to respect and learn from each other, turn our blueprint into reality..." Calls for a "new historic chapter in U.S.-China relations."

Proposed a toast to the friendship between the Chinese and American people, to the prosperity of China and the United States, to happiness, and to the health of president and Mrs. Obama and all of the friends present.

Please check against any transcript the White House releases, if they release one.

Byron Tau

Reporter, Wall Street Journal

c: xxx-xxx-xxxx

d: xxx-xxx-xxxx

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