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Obama Arrives in China on Trip With Complex Agenda

Discussion in 'China & Far East' started by Aepsilons, Nov 10, 2014.

  1. Aepsilons

    Aepsilons ELITE MEMBER

    May 29, 2014
    +118 / 35,753 / -0
    United States

    BEIJING — President Obama arrived here on Monday morning for a three-day visit that will capture the complexities of the United States-China relationship: the tensions of a rising power confronting an established one, as well as the promise that the world’s two largest economies could find common cause on issues like climate change.

    Touching down under skies that were a government-mandated blue — the authorities idled factories and kept vehicles off the roads to clear the air — Mr. Obama plunged into a hectic schedule that mixed the solemn rituals of a state visit with the deal-making of an economic summit meeting.

    Mr. Obama’s visit, his second as president, began on a promising note on Saturday with North Korea’s release of two Americans held there. Administration officials did not speculate about whether the release was timed to the visit, but it sent an unmistakably conciliatory message on the eve of talks that are certain to include the nuclear-armed rogue state.

    The centerpiece of the visit will be Mr. Obama’s session with President Xi Jinping in the Great Hall of the People on Wednesday, where he will encounter a Chinese leader who has moved boldly to restore the primacy of the Communist Party with a radical anticorruption campaign, an overhaul of China’s economy and a crackdown on dissent.

    Before that, though, Mr. Obama will meet with Joko Widodo, a plain-spoken populist whose recent election as president of Indonesia is a vivid contrast to the authoritarian ambitions of Mr. Xi. Mr. Widodo, like Mr. Obama, is here for a meeting of Pacific Rim leaders.

    Later on Monday, Mr. Obama was to speak to business executives from that group, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum. He will also meet leaders from 11 countries involved in trying to create the Trans-Pacific Partnership, an ambitious American-led trade pact that would be a central pillar of Mr. Obama’s “strategic pivot” to Asia.

    The White House has methodically lowered expectations that a deal will be reached in Beijing. But the fact that Mr. Obama is meeting the other leaders so early in the trip — combined with recent reports of progress in talks with one of the key participants, Japan — has prompted trade analysts to speculate that there could be some kind of a surprise.

    The Trans-Pacific Partnership does not include China, so Mr. Obama’s main commercial proposal for the Chinese will be a new bilateral investment treaty between the countries. Economists said it could be the most significant opening of the Chinese market for American companies since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001.

    American businesspeople view the treaty as an indicator of how serious Mr. Xi is about overhauling the Chinese economy, after a start that many describe as shaky. It would require the Chinese to open dozens of sensitive markets, some that remained closed to American companies, or required Chinese partners.

    “Optimism is moderating in the American business community,” said John Frisbie, the president of the U.S.-China Business Council. “The reason for that softening is policy uncertainty. What’s the reform policy direction? We’ve seen little tangible impact so far.”

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    Progress on an investment treaty could smooth other sources of friction in the relationship, particularly the systematic hacking of American companies by the Chinese. A joint working group set up to tackle cybercrime abruptly stopped meeting after American prosecutors filed hacking charges against several Chinese military officers.

    Mr. Obama raised the issue of cybercrime with Mr. Xi at their first leader-to-leader meeting at the Sunnylands estate in Rancho Mirage, Calif., in June 2013. By all accounts, that conversation did not go well, and the dialogue has only gotten testier since then.

    The two leaders did sign an agreement at that meeting to cut hydrofluorocarbon emissions, and the White House hopes to build on that this week in broader discussions between Mr. Obama and Mr. Xi about climate change. John Podesta, a senior adviser to the president who oversees climate change policy, is part of the delegation.

    The goal would be for China and the United States to announce a common position on new emissions-reductions targets before the next climate change talks in Paris next year. While it is unlikely that either country will announce specific targets until next March, even a general statement of commitment by the two leaders could galvanize the process.

    Shortly before Air Force One took off for Beijing, after midnight on Sunday, administration officials offered additional details on the secret trip to Pyongyang made by the director of national intelligence, James R. Clapper Jr., which resulted in the freeing of two Americans who had been imprisoned in North Korea, Kenneth Bae and Matthew Todd Miller.

    Mr. Clapper, one official said, carried a brief letter to North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, certifying that he was the president’s personal emissary and that his sole mission was to obtain the release of the two men. He did not meet with Mr. Kim, dealing with other officials.

    Mr. Clapper, the official said, was chosen by the White House after a surprise overture by the North Koreans because he was a security official, not a diplomat, which kept the trip out of the realm of diplomacy.

    “While this addresses an important irritant in our relationship,” said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity under ground rules imposed by the White House, “it certainly doesn’t address the underlying concerns we have about their nuclear program.”

    There is a precedent for timing such a release to the visit of a prominent American: Last December, North Korea freed an 85-year-old military veteran from Palo Alto, Calif., Merrell Newman, during a visit to South Korea by Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.

  2. Kolaps

    Kolaps FULL MEMBER

    Dec 18, 2012
    +2 / 560 / -0
    Taiwan, Province Of China
    Taiwan, Province Of China
    US is the world emperor.

    China is not.

    India is the crown prince of future emperor.

    The complex agenda is, how to make sure China to always obey to the emperor, to dismantle himself.
  3. TheMatador

    TheMatador BANNED

    Sep 21, 2014
    +0 / 476 / -5
    I hope he doesn't bring eloba or something with him from America.