Barack Obama

five Ws

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 19 November, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 19 November, 2009, 12:00am


US President Barack Obama is on a 10-day tour of Asia.


Obama landed in Japan on Friday and met Emperor Akihito and Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama. He then travelled to Singapore where he met Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (Apec) forum leaders. His next stop was Shanghai, where he addressed students before flying to Beijing to meet President Hu Jintao . His final stop is Seoul, where he will hold talks with President Lee Myung-bak today.


There have been several major talking points during the trip so far.

Apec leaders realised that it would not be possible to come to a legally binding agreement to combat climate change at next month's UN meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Obama and Hu agreed to co-operate on various issues, including the environment, outer space and public health, but did not come to an agreement on trade or human rights.

In Seoul, Obama is expected to discuss North Korea's nuclear ambitions.


This is Obama's first trip to Asia as US President.


Why is the trip important? China is set to become the world's second largest economy soon, while the US is the largest. It is crucial to the global economy that these nations communicate and maintain a healthy relationship. Having lived several years in Indonesia, Obama is seen as having a unique perspective on Asia.


How is this presidential tour different to past visits? The US and Chinese leaders have discussed a wide range of global issues. Previous meetings between the heads of the two countries have focused almost exclusively on bilateral issues.