Obama to travel to China for G20 Summit, meeting Modi on cards

Washington: US President Barack Obama will travel to China next month to attend the G-20 Summit which will also be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

This would be Obama’s 11th trip to Asia after he became the US President in January 2009.

Two of these trips have been to India in November, 2010 and January 2015.

“This trip will highlight the President’s ongoing commitment to the G-20 as the premier forum for international economic cooperation as well as the US Rebalance to Asia and the Pacific,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said in a statement.

On the sidelines of the G-20 Summit, Obama among others is likely to meet Modi, which would be the eighth meeting between the two leaders after he became Prime Minister in May 2014.

While there has been no word of confirmation from the White House on this, Modi during his joint White House media interaction in early June had said that the two leaders would be meeting in China in September.

Earnest said, in China, Obama will participate in his final G-20 Leaders’ Summit, where he will emphasise the need to continue building on the progress made since 2009 in advancing strong, sustainable, and balanced global economic growth.

“He will underscore the importance of G-20 cooperation in promoting a level playing field and broad-based economic opportunity. The President will also conduct in-depth meetings with President Xi Jinping of China in Hangzhou, where the two leaders will discuss a wide-range of global, regional, and bilateral issues,” Earnest said.

During his week-long Asia trip from September 2 to 9, Obama would become the first US President to visit Laos, where he will participate in the US-ASEAN Summit and the East Asia Summit.

Additionally, he will have bilateral meetings with President Bounnhang Vorachith and other key officials to advance US-Lao cooperation on economic, development, and people-to-people ties, among other areas.

Obama will participate in the Young Southeast Asian Leadership Initiative Summit, where he will hold a town hall meeting.

“During the ASEAN Summit, the President will discuss ways to strengthen our economic cooperation with the countries of Southeast Asia, which collectively represent America’s fourth largest trading partner and further enhance our collaboration on regional and global challenges,” Earnest said.

“At the East Asia Summit, the President will coordinate with the region’s leaders on efforts to advance a rules-based international order,” he said.

The visit also will support Obama’s efforts to expand opportunities for American businesses and workers to sell their products in some of the world’s fastest-growing markets.

“Central to this effort is the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the high-standards trade agreement that will unlock key markets to American exports and cement America’s economic leadership in the Asia-Pacific,” Earnest said.