News / Asia

Obama Aims to Expand, Strengthen Relationships on 10-Day Asia Trip

President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh offer a toast during the State Dinner at the White House. November 24, 2009.
President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh offer a toast during the State Dinner at the White House. November 24, 2009.

Multimedia

TEXT SIZE - +

President Barack Obama sets off this week (November 5) on a 10 day trip through Asia, starting in India, followed by Indonesia, South Korea and Japan.   Mr. Obama will be seeking to move U.S. economic and security ties forward with each country, while sending a message that the United States intends to remain fully engaged in Asia in economic and security terms.

President Barack Obama honored Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last year at the White House with a state dinner, the first of his presidency, and Mr. Singh plans to pay back the favor in New Delhi during Mr. Obama's upcoming visit. Polls shows Mr. Obama is highly popular in India, the world's largest democracy.

India also is a growing economic and strategic power with a burgeoning middle class that has largely escaped the global recession. Ron Sommers of the U.S-India Business Council says President Obama's visit could bring major economic dividends for both countries.

"We need to be creating jobs right now in both countries, in both societies and so the emphasis here is going to be on the two-way highway that is being developed between the U.S. and India in terms of India being one of the fastest emerging markets on Earth," Sommers states.

Deepening U.S.-India economic ties come at a time when India also is looking elsewhere for partners, as part of its "Look East" policy.  Prime Minister Singh recently visited Japan, Vietnam and Malaysia.

Walter Andersen is a South Asia specialist at the Johns Hopkins University School of International Studies. He says, "There is a huge potential for foreign direct investment on the part of the Japanese who have not invested much yet, but they are about to invest in a very significant way in India.  Then there is also the strategic element because there is concern in Southeast Asia and in Japan about a more assertive Chinese role and they all clearly want a closer relationship with the next big power in Asia which is India."

The bustling commercial center Mumbai is Mr. Obama's first stop. While there, he will meet with Indian and American business executives,  honor the victims of the 2008 terrorist attacks and hold a public discussion at a local university. He'll stay at The Taj Hotel, one of the targets of the terrorist attack.

In New Delhi, Mr. Obama plans to address parliament where he is expected to mention the need to achieve final implementation of the U.S.-India civil nuclear accord.

White House officials say Mr. Obama's visit to Indonesia, twice postponed earlier this year, will underscore the archipelago's importance as the world's largest Muslim majority nation and its success as a democracy.

In Jakarta, Mr. Obama plans to visit the Istiqlal Mosque, the largest in Indonesia, but due to a lack of time he will not visit the school he attended in Indonesia as a child, despite its personal significance to him.

Next stop - Seoul, South Korea, where preparations are already underway for the G-20 summit there, the first in an Asian nation. Mr. Obama will then head to Yokohama, Japan for the APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation) summit.

While in Seoul, Mr. Obama will hold talks for the seventh time with Chinese President Hu Jintao, and meet with U.S. troops to mark the 60th anniversary of the start of the Korean War.

Former U.S. Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns argues that the U.S. needs to forge with China the kind of relationship it has with India and other Asian nations to ensure China's continuing rise is peaceful.

"It makes sense that the United States of America should commit itself to a long term strategic partnership, a sort of alliance, with India and Japan and other countries in the future, so that China's rise occurs in a peaceful, stable, Asia where the democratic powers remain very strong," Burns said.

President Obama returns home November 14 to a capital expected to be sharply changed by midterm congressional elections.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid