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Obama on Asia: Incredible opportunity to create jobs (8508 hits)

Calum MacLeod, USA TODAY

Obama was speaking at the annual meeting of APEC, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, in Beijing. At the heart of the summit are rival trade agreements being pushed by the U.S. and China.

Obama arrived in Beijing earlier Monday for a week-long trip to the region that will also take in Burma and Australia — for summits with other world leaders.

The president's focus turns to foreign policy after last week's drubbing of Democrats in the midterm elections and just after North Korea's surprise release of two Americans on Saturday.

Obama was also holding separate meetings Monday with Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

"Most Asian countries still worry about China's expansion and increased influence," said Sun Zhe, director of the Center for Sino-U.S. Relations at Qinghua University in Beijing. "They still have doubts whether China is taking over their market or their islands."

If South Korean officials shared that apprehension they were able to set it aside Monday, as South Korea's presidential office announced a free trade deal with China to remove tariffs on more than 90% of goods over 20 years.

The announcement came after South Korean President Park Geun-hye met with Chinese President Xi Jinping at APEC, apparently completing negotiations that began in May 2012.

Xi is also holding a meeting at APEC with Japanese President Shizu Abe Monday, after two years of tension between the two nations created by a dispute over uninhabited East China Sea islands.

Continue Reading: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2014/11/10/apec-beijing-obama/18786007/
Posted By: Elly Moss
Monday, November 10th 2014 at 8:31AM
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