Barack Obama

Obama to meet Wen Jiabao and Yoshihiko Noda as islands dispute rumbles on

PUBLISHED : Friday, 16 November, 2012, 8:53am
UPDATED : Friday, 16 November, 2012, 1:13pm

US President Barack Obama will meet next week with the premiers of China and Japan at a time of high tensions between Asia’s two largest economies, the White House said Thursday.

Obama will meet Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda on Tuesday on the sidelines of the East Asia Summit in Cambodia, deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes told a press conference call.

Rhodes said that Obama will also meet in Cambodia with leaders who are part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a proposed free trade pact. Obama will earlier visit US ally Thailand and pay a historic trip to Myanmar.

China and Japan’s historically tense relations have become significantly worse in recent months as nationalist activists on both sides stake claims to islands in the East China Sea claimed by both countries.

However, Wen and Noda could both be out of office soon. China on Thursday unveiled a new leadership in which Li Keqiang is on course to become premier. Noda has called a December 16 election in which he faces a tough challenge from the conservative Liberal Democratic Party.