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Home News Afro Briefs Originally published November 23, 2012

President Obama Participates in East Asian Summit

by Alexis Taylor
AFRO Staff Writer

    Participants from left, Brunei's Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, U.S. President Barack Obama, Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen and China's Premier Wen Jiabao smile during a family picture session before the East Asia Summit Plenary Session in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012. (AP Photo)
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President Obama concluded the second year of American participation at the East Asian Summit (EAS) at the Peace Palace in Phnom Penh, Cambodia with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on Nov. 20.

The three-day Asian conference began Nov. 18 in Bangkok, Thailand, and then moved to Rangoon, Burma, also known as Myanmar, where Obama became the first U.S. president to visit the country. He finished his tour with stops in Cambodia. 

“It’s very important that we use multilateral meetings like the EAS to discuss shared regional and global challenges, and I’m committed to working with China and I’m committed to working with Asia,” said Obama. “It’s important that our two countries cooperate to build a more secure and prosperous future for the Asia Pacific region and for the world.”

Obama said that as leaders of the global economy, the two nations have a “special responsibility to lead the way in ensuring sustained and balanced growth” on an international scale.

“The long-term sound and steady growth of China-U.S. relations serves the fundamental interests of both countries,” said Wen. “It is also important for peace, stability, and prosperity in the Asia Pacific and the world.”

Wen became premier of the State Council in the 2003 National People's Congress victory over Zhu Rongji. 

According to the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis, the U.S. has seen more than $78 million in goods exported to China this year alone, a stark contrast to the more than $310 million spent on importing Chinese goods.

The Chinese premier said that the two countries will operate out of respect for each other as they build business relationships that benefit the people on both sides.
Wen also said he plans to enhance our “dialogue mechanisms, including the strategic and economic dialogues, the strategic security dialogue, and the high-level consultation on people-to-people exchange.”

Along with Wen, Obama also met with leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). 

The EAS brings together more than 16 countries through the Asia-Pacific region as well as the U.S. and Russia. 

During his stay in the area, Obama stressed the importance of peaceful negotiations as tension increased over rights to the South China Sea. 

International cooperation on bringing in a new wave of sustainable energy were also key topics along with maritime security and sharing the latest medical technologies to prevent epidemics and health threats.



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