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Nov 13, 2014

Obama optimistic on change in Myanmar, more work to be done

NAYPYITAW Myanmar (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama said on Thursday he was optimistic about political change in Myanmar and called on the country’s top politicians to push on with reform toward a free, inclusive and transparent election in 2015.

Myanmar began its emergence from international pariah status in 2011 when military leaders launched reforms after nearly half a century in power.

Nov 12, 2014

US, China sign symbolic emissions plan, play down rivalry

BEIJING, Nov 12 (Reuters) – The United States and China
announced a largely symbolic plan on Wednesday to implement new
limits on carbon emissions, the highlight of a summit between
Barack Obama and Xi Jinping in which both leaders played down
suggestions of differences and rivalry.

U.S. officials said the commitments by the world’s two
biggest carbon polluters came after months of backroom
negotiations and would set the tone for a global climate control
pact, but experts said the limits did not break significant new

Nov 12, 2014

Despite differences, Obama and Xi have intensive, cordial meeting

BEIJING (Reuters) – The United States and China announced an unprecedented joint plan on Wednesday to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, one of several agreements reached by President Barack Obama and President Xi Jinping at intensive bilateral talks.

The United States and China have strong economic and commercial ties but have been at odds over everything from China’s pursuit of territorial claims in East and Southeast Asia to cyberspying, trade and human rights.

Nov 11, 2014

U.S. says will take tough line with China if norms violated

BEIJING (Reuters) – The United States will be “very clear” with China if it veers beyond the bounds of international norms on cybersecurity and other issues, a senior U.S. official said on Tuesday ahead of a summit between the leaders of the two countries.

The comments by Ben Rhodes, a deputy national security advisor, come at a time when Beijing is increasingly assertive and has been pushing to establish new regional institutions that it aims to lead, including a multilateral security forum and an Asian infrastructure investment bank.

Nov 11, 2014

Obama and Putin are odd couple at Beijing summit

BEIJING (Reuters) – A couple of brief encounters between Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin during an Asia-Pacific summit in China on Tuesday spoke volumes about the chilly state of relations between the United States and Russia.

With the two men crossing paths twice this week, first in Beijing and later at a G20 summit in Brisbane, Australia, there was little chance they could avoid interacting on the international stage – and with the eyes of the world press and fellow leaders upon them.

Nov 10, 2014

Obama urges China to be partner in ensuring world order

BEIJING (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama said on Monday a successful China was in the interests of the United States and the world but Beijing had to be a partner in underwriting international order, and not undermine it.

Speaking to growing concerns among U.S. and other companies about the Chinese business environment after arriving in Beijing, Obama also urged China to reject the use of cyber theft for commercial gain and create a more level playing field where policy is not used for the benefit of some firms over others.

Nov 10, 2014

U.S., China to extend visa validity to boost trade, tourism

BEIJING (Reuters) – China and the United States have agreed to significantly extend the terms of short-term visas, U.S. President Barack Obama said on Monday in Beijing, a deal he said would improve trade and business ties between the world’s two largest economies.

Under the deal, which the United States will put into effect on Nov. 12, both countries would extend the terms of multiple entry short-term tourist and business visas to 10 years from one year, the White House said in an accompanying statement. Student visas would be extended to five years from one year.

Nov 10, 2014

Obama says momentum building on ‘historic’ trans-Pacific trade deal

BEIJING (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama said on Monday he sees momentum building for a Washington-backed free trade agreement in the Asia-Pacific, after arriving in Beijing on the first leg of an eight-day Asia tour.

U.S officials had ruled out a major announcement on the ambitious 12-country Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in Beijing, where Obama will attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum and meet Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Nov 6, 2014

Despite election defeat, foreign policy is not ‘game over’ for Obama

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – From marauding jihadists in Iraq to pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine and beheadings of Americans in Syria, a world in crisis has fanned perceptions of an overwhelmed U.S. president and contributed to a Republican sweep of U.S. midterm elections.

But the slide of public confidence in President Barack Obama and the takeover of U.S. Congress by resurgent Republicans will complicate, though not seriously undermine, U.S. foreign policy that is grappling with wars in the Middle East and Eastern Europe, and a more aggressive China in Asia.

Nov 4, 2014

Exclusive: Washington takes hands-off stance on future of Myanmar’s Suu Kyi

WASHINGTON/YANGON (Reuters) – Despite hailing Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi as “an icon of democracy,” U.S. President Barack Obama is quietly acquiescing to the government’s decision to bar her from running for the presidency in next year’s election, U.S. officials say.

Obama, who visits Myanmar next week, appears to be balancing his push for democratic reforms with a desire to maintain influence with a government that remains deeply suspicious of Suu Kyi and is led by some of the same former generals who kept her under house arrest for 15 years.

    • About Matt

      "White House correspondent who has covered news on four continents for Reuters, from Latin American coups and drug wars to the O.J. Simpson murder trial in Los Angeles to the Balkans conflict to the second Palestinian Intifada to the Iraq war. He has covered George W. Bush and is now covering President Barack Obama."
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