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

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

Nigeria Incumbent in Tight Spot as Poll Nears

Muhammadu Buhari is running a strong challenge to Goodluck Jonathan, amid a faltering economy and Boko Haram security worries More

Video Liberia's Almost-Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo tells VOA that despite her fame, life is still a struggle as she waits for government's promise of support to arrive More

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

At least seven different indigenous groups in Ratanakiri depend mainly on forest products for their survival, say they face loss of their land, traditional way of life 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More