White House defends secret Obama meeting with China’s richest man

The White House on Wednesday defended President Obama’s decision to meet privately with Jack Ma, China’s richest man and the founder of Chinese commerce empire Alibaba. 
“Because it was a private lunch,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said when asked why the meal was not listed on the president’s public schedule. 
{mosads}“It’s not uncommon for the president to have a private lunch with people he might find notable.”
The spokesman also defended the Obama administration’s efforts to boost transparency by publicly disclosing the White House visitor logs. “I think our approach to transparency is well documented,” Earnest said. 
Reporters only discovered Ma had met with Obama after he was spotted leaving the White House complex on Tuesday afternoon. 
Earnest did not say what the two men discussed during lunch. He instead pointed to Obama and Ma’s discussion at an Asia-Pacific summit in the Philippines last fall. 
“As they discussed in the public forum, there are a number of common interests they have, which includes climate change and the international economy,” he said.
Tags Barack Obama Jack Ma

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