by Dr. Laura Wilhelm, LauraWil Intercultural
West Hollywood, CA (The Hollywood Times) 9/4/16 – U.S. President Barack Obama arrived in Asia on Saturday, September 3rd, 2016 for diplomatic meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping. This will be his final Presidential trip to Asia.
Obama and Xi submitted their nations’ plans to reduce carbon emissions to the United Nations, officially ratifying a G20 agreement forged last year in Paris to curb climate change. “I believe that history will judge today’s efforts as pivotal,” said Obama.
In talks with Xi after the announcement, Obama was expected to raise controversial areas such as Asia’s territorial aspirations in the South China Sea; its engagement in cyber warfare; a monetary policy often unwelcome in the West; and longstanding concerns over human rights abuses.
Obama’s aides acknowledge the persistent differences between China and the USA. They said those issues would be covered during the President’s present set of talks with Xi.
“Part of what I’ve tried to communicate to President Xi is that the United States arrives at its power, in part, by restraining itself,” said Obama. “Our relationship with China. . .defies easy and simple definitions,” added Daniel Kritenbrink, Obama’s Senior Director for Asian Affairs.
This week’s trip to China and Laos is one of Obama’s last opportunities to shape American foreign policy before other leaders adapt their approach to the US based upon the next President. He hopes to improve some of his most tension-fraught international relationships before the business of state is handed off.
One of these would be the discord that surrounds Russian President Vladimir Putin’s actions in Syria that have driven relations between the US and Russia to their lowest level since the Cold War. This has become one of the most acrimonious matters on the world stage.
US officials have pinned the recent hack of the Democratic National Committee on Russia although the US government has not yet officially identified a culprit. This has added to an already deeply antagonistic dynamic between the two leaders.