Obama prepares for last Asia trip as president

 

President  Obama next month will make what is expected to be his final trip to Asia. There he will  meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping and other world leaders.

During his time in the White House,  Mr. Obama has sought to “rebalance” America’s defense and economic policy to counter China’s rising influence.

During the trip, from Sept. 2-9, he will attend the G20 summit in Hangzhou, China, where he will  meet privately with Mr.  Xi.

He also will travel to Laos to  take part in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit and East Asia Summit, where leaders have grappled with China’s increasingly menacing territorial claims in the South China Sea.

His visit to Laos will be the first for an U.S. president. There, he will meet  with Laotian President Bounnhang Vorachith and attend a town hall with young leaders.

The trip will be a chance for  Mr. Obama to promote the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal, a key part of his Asia strategy but one that faces a lot of opposition in  the U.S. Congress.

To read a Reuters article on this, please hit this link.

Cohen: Rejection of TPP would be big win for China

(June 6th, 2016) Roger Cohen, a foreign-affairs columnist for The New York Times, writes:

“The best way to kick Vietnamese aspirations in the teeth, turn the country sour on the United States, and undermine the stabilizing American role in Asia, would be for Congress to fail to ratify the Trans-Pacific Partnership, President Obama’s signature trade agreement with 11 Pacific Rim countries, including Vietnam but not China.

trans-pacific-partnership

“If TPP falls apart, China wins. It’s as simple as that. Nonratification would signal that Beijing gets to dictate policy in the region {of Southeast Asia}, and the attempt to integrate Vietnam comprehensively in a rules-based international economy fails.’’ Hit this link to read his entire column on this subject.