World News Brief, Wednesday January 19

Chinese president arrives in US for four-day state visit; experts say Chinese diplomatic trip could be most important in 30 years; lack of progress with North Korea-South Korea relationship; Tunisian PM defends new government with old ministers; former Haitian dictator Baby Doc Duvalier returns; and more

Top of the Agenda: Chinese President to Arrive in Washington

Chinese President Hu Jintao is set to arrive in Washington, DC, today for a four-day state visit (BBC) that many analysts describe as the most important trip by a Chinese leader in thirty years. US President Barack Obama is expected to take a tougher stance as the two nations address crucial issues like North Korea, trade, and currency policy (CNN). In the weeks leading up to the summit, several US cabinet officials have criticized China on these very issues. In addition, the United States has condemned the Chinese military buildup (NYT) in the Pacific, as well as the country's controversial human rights record. However, there have been recent signs of closer cooperation between the United States and China on issues ranging from climate change to North Korea--some analysts are optimistic that the world's two largest economies might find more common ground (CSMonitor).


A series of frank statements by US officials before the upcoming summit with Chinese President Hu provides an important new footing for advancing cooperation between the two countries, says CFR's Elizabeth Economy.

In this op-ed for the LA Times, Jonah Goldberg argues that despite China's rising global profile, the country still has several impediments to overcome, and he stresses that American leadership will still be the norm.

On the CFR Blog "Asia Unbound," Evan Feigenbaum addresses the prospects, politics, and expectations surrounding the historic U.S.-China presidential summit.


PACIFIC RIM: Taiwan Holds Missile Tests

One day before an historic China-US presidential summit, Taiwan held live-fire missile tests (NYT) with mixed results. Government officials said the timing was mere coincidence, and dates for the exercise had been scheduled far in advance.

Korea: Despite ongoing efforts at rekindling international negotiations, Pyongyang and Seoul remain divided over key points. South Korea continues to demand the North apologize for its recent acts of belligerence and promise to denuclearize (Yonhap).



- Tunisian PM Oversees Interim Government
- Return of Former Dictator Adds to Haiti Turmoil
- Less Anxiety over EU Fund Overhaul

This is an excerpt of the Daily News Brief. The full version is available on