Obama arrives in China for G20 summit

Beijing, Sep 3 (IANS) US President Barack Obama arrived in the Chinese city of Hangzhou on Saturday for the upcoming G20 summit on his 11th tour of Asia before his term expires.

During the summit from September 4 to 5, Obama was expected to reaffirm the US’s shift in focus towards Asia, Efe news reported.

Obama is expected to begin his Asian agenda with a meeting with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping later on Saturday.

It will be the eighth face-to-face meeting and the fourth official bilateral meeting between the two leaders since they first met in California in 2013.

Last week, White House Senior Director for Asian Affairs Daniel Kritenbrink said Xi and Obama were expected to discuss the “positive” aspects of their bilateral ties, according to White House Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes.

Both nations were expected to announce the ratification of the climate pact reached at COP21 Summit in Paris last December.

The Chinese parliament on Saturday ratified the climate pact at the end of its bi-monthly session.

Other matters of consensus, such as mutual efforts on the Afghan reconciliation process and the Iranian nuclear deal, will also feature in the discussions.

Yet both sides indicated they will not avoid topics that they disagree on, such as the South China Sea dispute, how to tackle the North Korean nuclear threat and the human rights situation in China.

The White House has confirmed that Obama will also meet British Prime Minister Theresa May and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan ahead of the summit.

Obama will round off his participation with a press conference on Monday, before leaving for Laos, where he will become the first American President to visit the country.

In Laos, he will take part in the US-Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Summit and East Asia Summit until September 9, during which time he is expected to promote the Trans-Pacific Partnership.



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