World News

    As Obama Leaves Asia, One Last Swipe at China

    U.S. President Barack Obama took another implicit swipe at China's foreign policy Tuesday as he wrapped up a week-long, four-nation tour of Asia.

    Speaking to U.S. and Philippine troops before departing Manila, President Obama repeated his administration's long-held stances on China's maritime disputes.



    "We believe that all nations and peoples have the right to live in security and peace and have their sovereignty and territorial integrity respected. We believe that international law must be held, that freedom of navigation must be preserved, and commerce must not be impeded. We believe that disputes must be resolved peacefully and not be intimidation or force."



    The comments, which did not mention China by name, come a day after Washington and Manila signed a new defense deal to expand the U.S. military presence in the Pacific nation.

    Mr. Obama stressed that the U.S. commitment to defend the Philippines is "iron-clad." He cited a 1951 treaty in which both nations agreed to protect one another if attacked.

    The closer military relationship is widely seen as a response to Beijing, which is involved in a worsening dispute with Manila over territory in the South China Sea.



    VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez, who is traveling with Mr. Obama, says the deal represents one of the "high notes" of the president's trip.



    "The United States was able to secure a defense agreement that brings back U.S. troops to the (Philippine) islands at their largest scale since the U.S. closed down its permanent bases more than two decades ago."



    Mr. Obama on Monday said the new security agreement is not meant to "counter" or "control" China. But this has done little to ease worries among many Chinese leaders.

    That concern was expressed in several editorials in China's state-run newspapers, which though not official statements, often reflect the government's position.

    The China Daily said Mr. Obama's trip shows it is "increasingly obvious that Washington is taking Beijing as an opponent." The paper accused the U.S. of "ganging up with troublemaker allies" and said it is presenting itself as a "security threat to China."

    The official Xinhua news agency said Monday the U.S.-Philippine deal was "particularly disturbing, as it may embolden Manila in dealing with Beijing and could provide U.S. backing for the Philippines to "confront China."

    The 10-year deal will allow a larger U.S. security presence in the islands and the rotation of U.S. troops and equipment, such as ships and fighter jets, into Philippine military bases. No new U.S. bases will be built and no old U.S. bases will be reclaimed under the deal.

    Last week, Beijing was also angry that Mr. Obama signed a statement explicitly stating that a group of disputed islands in the East China Sea are covered in a mutual defense treaty with Japan. The treaty obliges the U.S. to come to the defense of Tokyo if attacked.

    The Philippines and Japan are involved in two of the most heated territorial disputes between China and its neighbors. Other Asian countries also accuse China of using its rising military strength to intimidate, threaten, or take over disputed area from their forces.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limitedi
    X
    Katie Arnold
    May 04, 2016 12:31 PM
    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limited

    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Taliban Threats Force Messi Fan to Leave Afghanistan

    A young Afghan boy, who recently received autographed shirts and a football from his soccer hero Lionel Messi, has fled his country due to safety concerns. He and his family are now taking refuge in neighboring Pakistan. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from Islamabad.
    Video

    Video Major Rubbish Burning Experiment Captures Destructive Greenhouse Gases

    The world’s first test to capture environmentally harmful carbon dioxide gases from the fumes of burning rubbish took place recently in Oslo, Norway. The successful experiment at the city's main incinerator plant, showcased a method for capturing most of the carbon dioxide. VOA’s Deborah Block has more.
    Video

    Video EU Visa Block Threatens To Derail EU-Turkey Migrant Deal

    Turkish citizens could soon benefit from visa-free travel to Europe as part of the recent deal between the EU and Ankara to stem the flow of refugees. In return, Turkey has pledged to keep the migrants on Turkish soil and crack down on those who are smuggling them. Brussels is set to publish its latest progress report Wednesday — but as Henry Ridgwell reports from London, many EU lawmakers are threatening to veto the deal over human rights concerns.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Elephant Summit Results in $5M in Pledges, Presidential Support

    Attended and supported by three African presidents, a three-day anti-poaching summit has concluded in Kenya, resulting in $5 million in pledges and a united message to the world that elephants are worth more alive than dead. The summit culminated at the Nairobi National Park with the largest ivory burn in history. VOA’s Jill Craig attended the summit and has this report about the outcomes.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora