Obama seeking foreign policy gain from four-nation Asian trip following poll setback

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Washington, Nov 5 (ANI): After a setback to his party in the mid-term elections, US President Barack Obama seems to be focusing on foreign policy in his four-nation Asian trip, whose rising middle class could drive future U.S. economic growth with its hunger for exports even as American consumers retrench.

According to the Washington Post, Obama and his foreign policy team believed the Middle East, in particular, was occupying too much attention. They concluded that, over the long term, the economies and ambitions of China, Japan, India and other Asia nations could prove more important to U.S. interests.

"The United States was not as present in the region as our interests dictated we should be. We had a vision, and now we're at the center of the emerging security and economic architecture in Asia. ... We are not going to be the administration that lets the rise of Asia pass us by," Thomas E. Donilon, Obama's national security adviser, said in a recent interview.

However, it would be a challenge for Obama to convince his counterparts in Asia and at two economic summits that he has not been weakened politically by the midterm setback, and that issues such as free trade, a divisive subject within the Democratic Party, remain central to his ambitions in the region, the paper said.

Douglas H. Paal, a National Security Council official for Asia in the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations who is now vice president of studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said: "He'll look pretty beaten up, but the practical reality is that the president of the United States is a big deal - defeated in an election or not."

Obama's visit to India is reportedly designed to present India, a country of 1.2 billion people that expects to be the world's third-largest economy within a decade, as a place that will create U.S. jobs, not just take them in the form of outsourcing, the paper said.is tour of economically potent Asian democracies - India, Indonesia, South Korea and Japan - is a tacit challenge to the Chinese economic model of a heavy state hand wielded by an unelected government, the paper added.

Senior administration officials say Asian nations have counted on U.S. security to build their economies, something China itself has benefited from because of the relative stability thousands of U.S. troops have brought to the Korean peninsula. (ANI)

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