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U.S. President Barack Obama says he took five minutes out of his busy overseas diplomatic schedule to meet a half-brother who lives in China.

Mr. Obama told a U.S. television network that he met Mark Ndesandjo and his wife briefly Monday in Beijing, where the U.S. president held meetings with Chinese leaders this week.

The president has the same Kenyan father as Ndesandjo, who recently published a book, Nairobi to Shenzhen, describing Barack Obama Sr. as abusive.

President Obama said he does not know his half-brother very well.  He said it was not a secret that his father was a troubled person, noting that he wrote about his father's alcoholism in his own book, Dreams of My Father.

Obama Sr. married Ndesandjo's mother after divorcing Mr. Obama's American mother when the president was a child. Obama Sr. died in 1982.

President Obama said his time with his father was a sad part of his history and his background, but he does not spend a lot of time "brooding over it."

Ndesandjo traveled from his home in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen to meet his half-brother.  The last time they were together was at the president's inauguration in Washington last January.