News / Asia

China Watching Obama's Burma Visit

China Watching Obama Burma Visiti
|| 0:00:00
X
Scott Stearns
November 19, 2012 12:24 PM
Barack Obama is the first U.S. president to visit Burma. It is part of a trip to Asia meant to reinforce Washington's so-called "Asia pivot" which has raised concerns in Beijing about greater U.S. influence in the region. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on how China sees the president's visit to Burma.

China Watching Obama Burma Visit

Barack Obama is the first U.S. president to visit Burma. It is part of a trip to Asia meant to reinforce Washington's so-called "Asia pivot" which has raised concerns in Beijing about greater U.S. influence in the region.

U.S. officials say the president's visit recognizes the decision by Burmese leaders to embark on a path of reform and democratization after decades of repression.

Tom Donilon, Obama's national security advisor, says the president believes engagement is the best way to encourage further reforms.

"There’s a lot more to be done, and we are not going to miss this moment in terms of our opportunity to push this along and to try to lock in as much reform and lock in this path forward as best we can," he said.

Donilon says the United States is encouraging Burmese authorities to collaborate further with both the international community and domestic civil society. It is part of what the Obama administration calls a "rebalancing toward the Asia-Pacific" - a move toward greater U.S. military, diplomatic, and commercial presence in Asia that has caused anxiety in China.

"The idea is to persuade the Chinese that the American rebalancing is good for China," said Michael Pillsbury, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute who worked for former Presidents Ronald Reagan and George Herbert Walker Bush.

He says Chinese leaders see the Burma visit as further evidence of U.S. deception about the aims of its Asia pivot.

"The U.S. is portrayed basically to Chinese youth and to Chinese university students and I am afraid to Chinese officials as a very crafty, dangerous, highly-coordinated, ruthless, cunning power that in many ways China would like to emulate," he added.

 "Every move the American government is taking, including Obama's visit to Burma is now clearly taken as a geo-strategic move," said professor Xiang Lanxin, who chairs international affairs studies at Shanghai's Fudan University. "It is not something promoting Myanmar democracy. That's not even the issue here. The issue is to wean Myanmar, Burma away from the Chinese strategic borders. You keep on saying this has nothing to do with China. But the Chinese exactly think everything has to do with China. You keep on using this kind of language to try to reduce the psychological burden on the China side. It's not working."

Michael Pillsbury says China's view of President Obama's trip to Burma shows how much the Asia pivot has roiled relations between Washington and Beijing.

"What I think both Professor Xiang and I are trying to convey is the idea of two sides with some degree of distrust, even paranoia, each focusing on events and activities that may in fact be innocent but no one quite knowing," he said.

U.S. officials say they have discussed with their Chinese counterparts the reforms they would like to see in Burma and believe it is a shared goal that is in the interests of everyone in the region.

You May Like

Video Experts Warn World Losing Ebola Fight

Doctors Without Borders says world is losing battle against Ebola, unless wealthy nations dispatch specialized biological disaster response teams More

Video Experts: Rise of Islamic State Significant Development in Jihadism

Many analysts contend the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years More

US-Based Hong Kongers Pledge Support for Pro-Democracy Activists

Democracy advocates call on Chinese living abroad to join them in opposing new election rules for their home territory More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: peter from: virginia,usa
November 19, 2012 10:21 AM
our president is a true leader because he care about the very people that he serve the poor,the disadvantage.what i see in him is a man that wants equality for all in pursuit of happiness without a civil unrest. this president is the greatest man that america has seen after our greatest and most caring president franklin dwight roosevelt with his wife eleanor.

In Response

by: Neon from: Austin, TX
November 19, 2012 5:53 PM
Lots of unrest I see in Israel, Syria, and the greater Mid East. Obama's only focusing on Asia because he knows he can't have a positive legacy in the Mid East. His legacy in Asia will look good now but 20 years from today we'll look back and see the time bombs he set up.

In Response

by: henry from: davis
November 19, 2012 12:45 PM
arrogant, wake up and open your eye to see the world.


by: tiktin from: Boise, Idaho
November 19, 2012 9:58 AM
I am sick and tired of the United States meddling in the internal affairs of other countries.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid