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Obama`s Asia Tour Draws Criticism From US

Posted November. 18, 2009 08:51,   


U.S. President Barack Obama is in the middle of his Asia tour, but a debate in the U.S. has started over the results of his visit.

U.S. domestic issues such as health care reform remain unresolved, the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan is worsening, and the nuclear ambitions of North Korea and Iran linger.

For this reason, Obama is said to have welcomed the Korean government’s decision to send troops to Afghanistan. Seoul will independently run a provincial reconstruction team and send security forces to Afghanistan, relieving the U.S. leader’s dilemma of sending more troops to the war-torn country.

If Korea takes over the reconstruction team being run by the U.S., Washington can change the team’s personnel into combat forces.

Under the previous U.S. government, Korea’s deployment of troops to Iraq won favor with the Bush administration, which had been unfavorable to Seoul. A Korean task force visited Afghanistan before Obama’s visit to Seoul, and Korea’s decision to deploy the team and set the number of troops for dispatch could serve as a lubricant to a bilateral summit between Korea and the U.S.

Obama, however, is likely to face domestic criticism over his Asia visit after he returns home. In Japan, the first leg of his journey, he sought a high-level meeting over the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in Ginowan, Okinawa Prefecture, but both sides disagreed on this in less than a day.

His visit to China also received a relatively negative response from U.S. media. National Public Radio said, “There have been continued discussions on pending issues, but he failed to find a remarkable breakthrough.”

The New York Times said his meeting with college students in Shanghai failed to deal with sensitive issues, adding he did not speak his mind on human rights in China.

The People`s Daily, the official mouthpiece of China`s ruling Communist Party, also criticized the U.S. demand for the appreciation of the Chinese yuan.

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