World News Brief, Tuesday November 17

Obama, in China, urges more balanced trade (+ analysis); Aung San Suu Kyi seeks meeting with junta; Netanyahu: "no substitute" for Palestinian negotiations; UN head and Pope call for stabilised world food prices; and more

Top of the Agenda: Obama in China

On his first full day visiting China, US President Barack Obama stressed that Washington is not trying to contain China's rise but said trade between the two countries needs to be more balanced (RFE/RL). These comments, at a student forum in Shanghai, came ahead of talks (WashPost) on currency and trade imbalances between the two countries.

Obama also stressed the need for Internet freedom and human rights, but he did not mention Tibet or others sensitive issues that could increase tensions ahead of talks with Chinese leaders in Beijing.

Obama called the US-China relationship "positive, constructive and comprehensive" and said it opened the door (Xinhua) to partnership on key global issues such as economic recovery, clean energy, nuclear weapons, and climate change. He said the United States would continue to fully support the "One China" policy and wanted to see improvement in the cross-strait relationship.


In the Asia Times, nonproliferation expert Jing-dong Yuan says Obama needs to reassure Chinese leaders that the United States seeks "a pragmatic and cooperative partnership" with China.

In the Washington Post, Robert Kagan and Dan Blumenthal argue that "strategic reassurance" vis-à-vis China is not in the interest of the United States and its allies.

A CFR media conference call discusses the security and economic issues that will dominate Obama's agenda in Asia.


A CFR Special Report examines the United States' role in the New Asia.


PACIFIC RIM: Burma Engagement

Burma's detained pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi requested a meeting (AP) with the head of the country's ruling junta, as the United States promotes its new policy of engaging the military regime through high-level talks instead of sanctions.



Netanyahu rejects Palestinian plan to seek statehood.
United States unveils new Bagram prison.
UN presses for stabilized global food prices.


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