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Aug 29, 2014

U.S., China plan followup to Sunnylands summit in November

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping, at odds over China’s increasing assertiveness in Asia and issues such as cyberspying, plan a followup to their informal summit in California last year after November’s APEC summit in Beijing.

Leaders of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation group will meet in Beijing on Nov. 10 and 11. Obama plans to stay in China for a bilateral meeting with Xi on Nov. 12 before heading on for an East Asia summit in Myanmar and a G20 meeting in Australia.

Aug 25, 2014

U.S., Chinese officials to meet at Pentagon after jet intercept

WASHINGTON, Aug 25 (Reuters) – U.S. and Chinese military
officials will hold talks on rules of behavior at the Pentagon
on Wednesday and Thursday, a U.S. official said, days after the
United States denounced a “dangerous” Chinese jet intercept of a
U.S. Navy patrol plane.

Last Tuesday, a Chinese fighter pilot flew acrobatic
maneuvers around the U.S. Navy’s P-8 Poseidon anti-submarine and
reconnaissance plane, crossing over and under it in
international airspace over the South China Sea, the Pentagon
said.

Aug 4, 2014

U.S. to press South China Sea freeze despite China rejection

WASHINGTON, Aug 4 (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John
Kerry, at a meeting with Southeast Asian nations this weekend,
will press for a voluntary freeze on actions aggravating
territorial disputes in the South China Sea, in spite of
Beijing’s rejection of the idea.

Daniel Russel, the State Department’s senior diplomat for
the East Asia region, said ahead of Kerry’s trip to the ASEAN
Regional Forum (ARF) that the call was not new and was “not
rocket science,” but “common sense.”

Aug 1, 2014

Kerry seeks Qatari, Turkish help to find Israeli soldier

RAMSTEIN Germany (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, fearing an escalation of violence in Gaza, called on Turkey and Qatar on Friday to use their influence to secure the release of a kidnapped Israeli soldier whose abduction led to the breakdown of a short-lived ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.

    Kerry called Qatari Foreign Minister Khalid bin Mohammed al Attiyah and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu soon after being told of the abduction and the killings of two Israeli soldiers by an aide while flying back from a visit to India. The incidents led to the quick breakdown of a ceasefire Kerry had worked hard to broker.

Aug 1, 2014

U.S. says India refusal on WTO deal a wrong signal

NEW DELHI/SYDNEY (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday that India’s refusal to sign a global trade deal sent the wrong signal, and he urged New Delhi to work to resolve the row as soon as possible.

A World Trade Organisation pact to ease worldwide customs rules collapsed late on Thursday over India’s demands for concessions on agricultural stockpiling.

Aug 1, 2014

Kerry sees ‘opportunity’ in Gaza ceasefire, urges search for common ground

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday called the 72-hour ceasefire agreed to by Israel and Hamas in their conflict in the Gaza Strip a “lull of opportunity” and said it was imperative that the sides make their best efforts to find common ground.

Kerry said Egypt’s foreign minister will invite the ceasefire parties to take part in “serious” negotiations in Cairo and that the United States plans to send a small delegation. He called the ceasefire “precious time.”

Jul 31, 2014

India’s demands block $1 trln WTO deal on customs rules

NEW DELHI/GENEVA, July 31 (Reuters) – The World Trade
Organization failed on Thursday to reach a deal to standardise
customs rules, which would have been the first global trade
reform in two decades but was blocked by India’s demands for
concessions on agricultural stockpiling.

“We have not been able to find a solution that would allow
us to bridge that gap,” WTO Director-General Roberto Azevedo
told trade diplomats in Geneva just two hours before the final
deadline for a deal.

Jul 31, 2014

India, U.S. stress strategic ties but tensions remain

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – The United States and India stressed their desire to boost business and defense ties on Thursday, but trade and spying rows were a reminder of the obstacles to President Barack Obama’s vision of a “defining” partnership.

After a day of meetings in New Delhi seen as a preparation for a September visit to Washington by new Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said the Indian leader’s election had created a “singular opportunity.”

Jul 31, 2014

US says hopeful of WTO deal with India only hours before deadline

NEW DELHI/GENEVA (Reuters) – The United States said on Thursday it was hopeful that differences between India and much of the rest of the world over a major trade agreement could be resolved in time, with only hours remaining before the deal has to be signed.

New Delhi has insisted that, in exchange for signing the trade facilitation agreement, it must see more progress on a parallel pact giving it more freedom to subsidize and stockpile food grains than is allowed by World Trade Organization rules.

Jul 28, 2014

Kerry to woo Modi’s India, but quick progress unlikely

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry visits India this week as Washington tries to revitalize ties it sees as a counterbalance to China’s rising power, but rapid progress is unlikely, despite the reformist reputation of India’s new leader.

The visit by Kerry, and a trip by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel next month, follow the resounding election win of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in May and are meant to create a good climate for Modi’s planned visit to Washington in September.

    • 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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