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Oct 20, 2014

Kerry in Indonesia seeking Asian support against Islamic state

JAKARTA (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Indonesia for Joko Widodo’s presidential inauguration on Monday, seeking more help from Southeast Asian leaders in the U.S.-led effort against Islamic State in the Middle East.

In a one-day stop in Jakarta, capital of a country with the world’s largest Muslim population, Kerry plans bilateral meetings with Widodo, the prime ministers of neighboring Malaysia and Singapore, the Sultan of Brunei, Australia’s prime minister and the foreign minister of the Philippines.

Oct 18, 2014

U.S. and China look to manage differences, cooperate against threats

BOSTON (Reuters) – America and China’s top diplomats stressed the need to manage differences and cooperate against global threats including Islamic State and Ebola, as they sought to warm the mood between their countries ahead of a summit next month.

“There are many areas that the United States and China are cooperating on, even as we have some differences that we try to manage effectively,” U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters in Boston on Saturday before a second day of talks with China’s State Councilor Yang Jiechi.

Oct 18, 2014

Kerry seeks to warm summit mood with dinner for China’s top diplomat

BOSTON (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry welcomed China’s top diplomat, State Councilor Yang Jiechi, to his Boston home on Friday for talks aimed at warming the often strained U.S.-China relationship ahead of a summit between their leaders next month.

Kerry stood outside his imposing townhouse residence in Boston’s exclusive Louisburg Square to welcome Yang with smiles and handshakes. After their dinner on Friday night, the two will hold formal talks on Saturday, when Kerry also plans to show Yang some of the sights of his native city.

Oct 16, 2014

U.S. seeks more from China, Asian Muslim nations, on Islamic State

WASHINGTON/JAKARTA (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will seek greater cooperation from China and Southeast Asia’s main Muslim states, Indonesia and Malaysia, in the campaign against Islamic State and staunching the flow of foreign fighters to the militant group, U.S. and Asian officials said.

China’s most senior diplomat, State Councilor Yang Jiechi, is expected in Kerry’s home city of Boston on Friday and Saturday, a Chinese diplomat said. Kerry is then due in Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim country, for Monday’s inauguration of newly-elected president Joko Widodo.

Oct 12, 2014

Ukraine, Russia central bankers quip, shake hands in Washington

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Female central bankers from Ukraine and its bitter rival Russia took the stage together in Washington on Saturday and described differing fallout from the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

Their governments in Kiev and Moscow may be at odds, but Valeria Hontareva, governor of the Central Bank of Ukraine, and Ksenia Yudayeva, deputy governor of the Central Bank of Russia, managed to joke about the irony of their encounter on a panel on the sidelines of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund meetings – and to shake hands afterwards.

Oct 11, 2014

IMF warns global economy at risk, calls for bold action

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The International Monetary Fund’s member countries on Saturday said bold action was needed to bolster the global economic recovery, and they urged governments to take care not to squelch growth by tightening budgets too drastically.

With Japan’s economy floundering, the euro zone at risk of recession and the U.S. recovery too weak to generate a rise in incomes, the IMF’s steering committee said focusing on growth was the priority.

Oct 11, 2014

China’s central bank sees ‘very low’ risk of hard landing

WASHINGTON, Oct 11 (Reuters) – The chance of a hard landing
for China’s economy is very small in spite of worries about the
country’s real-estate sector, the chief economist of the
People’s Bank of China said on Saturday.

Ma Jun told a panel on the sidelines of the IMF and World
Bank fall meetings in Washington that the property sector, which
accounts for 20 percent of total investment in China, was the
main downside risk to the Chinese economy.

Oct 11, 2014

China says U.S. investment talks could be concluded in two years

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Negotiations to bring about a bilateral investment treaty between China and the United States could be concluded within two years, but ratification would then be a tough process, China’s vice finance minister said on Friday.

Zhu Guangyao said that good progress had been made since the two countries agreed in July to intensify talks on the treaty and there had already been 12 rounds of talks for technical clarification of the text.

Oct 11, 2014

China sees no need for big stimulus for property, economy

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – China is watching its property market closely but sees no need for any big stimulus for the sector or the rest of the economy, its vice minister of finance said on Friday.

Zhu Guangyao told a small group of reporters on the sidelines of the World Bank/IMF meetings in Washington that the government considered that the current economic situation in China, including the real-estate market, was “still stable.”

Oct 6, 2014

Analysis – U.S. sees North Korean leader’s absence, talks as tactical

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A surprise visit by a senior North Korea delegation to South Korea and the disappearance from public view of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for the past month have triggered speculation about Kim’s health and the stability of his government.

But U.S. analysts say both can just as easily be interpreted as diplomatic tactics by Pyongyang, aimed at dividing and weakening international pressure over its nuclear weapons programme and human rights record as well as propaganda for domestic consumption.

    • About David

      "David Brunnstrom is Reuters U.S. Asia Policy Correspondent, based in Washington DC. Before moving to Washington in 2012, he reported from all over Western and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and parts of Asia as EU and NATO correspondent based in Brussels. Before that, he spent nearly 20 years in Asia for Reuters, with postings in Bangkok, Seoul, Tokyo, Hanoi, Islamabad and Kabul."
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