U.S. Confronts China Over Airspace in South China Sea

I had not given much thought to the flight plan of the airline I recently booked to go back to the U.S. from Vietnam, but recent events in the airspace over the South China Sea prompted an online search. As I discovered, my commercial flight will be flying not far from where a U.S. surveillance plane was warned on Wednesday to leave by a Chinese radar operator. Read more »

The President Wraps Up Trip in Burma, Heads to Australia

President Obama Walks Toward Air Force One in Burma

President Barack Obama walks towards Air Force One past honor guards and a group of representatives from Burmese ethnic groups before departing from Naypyitaw International Airport in Burma. November 14, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama has spent the week traveling in China, Burma, and Australia to help further the U.S. rebalancing strategy and his firm belief that our economic ties to the Asia Pacific region are integral to America's economic growth.

After securing a historic agreement with China to reduce carbon pollution, the President traveled to Naypyitaw and Rangoon, Burma for the East Asia Summit, the U.S.-ASEAN Summit, and for a bilateral meeting with Burmese President Thein Sein. 

Two years ago, President Obama became the first American president to visit this country. On this visit, both Presidents discussed the progress that Burma has made in the pursuit of a more open democracy and the work that's left to do: 

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President Obama Heads to Beijing, Kicking Off Trip to Asia and Australia

President Barack Obama steps off Air Force One to a red carpet welcome on arrival at Capital International Airport in Beijing

President Barack Obama steps off Air Force One to a red carpet welcome on arrival at Capital International Airport in Beijing, China, Nov. 10, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

Over the weekend, President Obama headed to Beijing to kick off his sixth trip to Asia as President -- and his second trip to Asia this year.

The trip -- which will also include stops in Burma and Australia -- will underscore the President's deep commitment to his Asia rebalancing strategy, and will reiterate his firm belief that America's trade and investment ties to Asia are critical to our future economic growth and the creation of American jobs.

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On Dealing with the Hermit Kingdom

Does North Korea’s leadership belong in the madhouse or Alcatraz as so many of our right wing politicians, militarists and some journalists seem to suggest? Or are they behaving as sanely – at least from their perspective - as their accusers? Is there something important going on in Pyongyang that is overlooked here that should be considered? Read more »

Lloyd Austin to Lead U.S. Central Command

Ed. note: The full text of the op-ed by Senior Advisor to the President Valerie Jarrett is printed below. The piece is published today on BET.com and can be found HERE.  Today, General Lloyd Austin became the first African-American to lead the U.S... Read more »

Weekly Wrap Up: “We Don’t Have a Moment to Waste”

Watch the West Wing Week here.

International Courage Awards: Last Friday, the First Lady joined Secretary of State John Kerry at the State Department for the International Women of Courage Awards—where nine different women were honored. The event was a celebration of the strength and sacrifice of individuals who have worked tirelessly for the advancement of women’s rights for all.

Trade Export Council: On Tuesday, President Obama touched base with business and government leaders at a meeting of the President’s Export Council.

“The good news is we are well on our way to meeting a very ambitious goal that we set several years ago to double U.S. exports,” said the President. “And what we know is, is that a lot of the growth, a lot of the new jobs that we've seen during the course of this recovery, have been export-driven.” 

To maintain and ignite growth, President Obama discussed finishing new trade deals with Europe and the Asia-Pacific. The Administration signed legislation in 2011 supporting free trade agreements with Korea, Colombia, and Panama which has kept America competitive in foreign trade, while creating jobs for Americans.

Sultan of Brunei: On Tuesday, President Obama welcomed His Majesty the Sultan of Brunei to the Oval Office for a bilateral meeting to share their desire for “a strong, peaceful, prosperous Asia-Pacific region.”

Brunei, a small country in the South China Sea, will be holding the ASEAN East Asia Summit meeting in October. The visit is a symbol of the President’s goal of working towards a peaceful and prosperous presence in the Asia-Pacific region.

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