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

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age 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.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs