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Obama’s visit to AsiaFrom November 4 to November 14, U.S. President Barack Obama visited the four Asian countries of India, Indonesia, South Korea and Japan and attended the G20 Summit held in Seoul as well as the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit held in Yokohama. This was Obama's second visit to Asia since he took office two years ago.
Although Obama did not step on Chinese soil this visit, China or China-related topics appeared on the schedule of every leg of his journey directly or indirectly. David Lampton, a noted China expert from the U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University, commented that the "China shadow" appeared in the speeches of every stop of Obama's visit.
Even before this visit, many international media groups had shown interests in the reason why Obama was visiting the Asian countries "around" China. Discussions regarding the United States' containment of China also became extremely hot.
During the visit, some of the comments made by Obama, such as "prosperity without freedom is just another form of poverty," were also considered as alluding to China. The "debate" between Obama and a CCTV reporter at a press conference held in Seoul was also exaggerated by some media groups to the level of "China and the United States confronting each other" and "Obama showing strength to China."
On the whole, the aim of Obama's visit to Asia was to implement his "Returning to Asia" policy, and what lies behind this policy is that the United States is worried about China's rise in Asia. After the 9-11 attacks, the United States has had its hands full with two wars and one crisis. The focus of its foreign policy has been on the Middle East for quite some time. They have greatly ignored Asia, "the most dynamic region of the world."
But China, as its economy skyrockets, is establishing tighter and more comprehensive relationships with the countries of the Asia-Pacific region and becoming more influential. The United States, which still faces difficulties from the international financial crisis and whose influence is weakening gradually, is becoming more worried that China will probably dominate Asia.
After Obama took office, the United States started to adjust its strategies. It not only kept showing its gesture of "returning to Asia" publicly, but also took a series of steps successively. After Obama took office, he immediately declared that the United States is an Asia-Pacific country and called himself the "first Pacific President" in U.S. history, and he also paid two visits to the Asia-Pacific region. Furthermore, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has visited the Asia-Pacific region six times and made many speeches regarding the United State's Asian policies.
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