President Barack Obama’s emphasis this week on restricting the use of the military abroad risks an unintended consequence: deepening concern about fading U.S. engagement among Asian nations locked in disputes with China.
President Ma Ying-Jeou of Taiwan called for the U.S. to end years of stalling and provide submarines and F-16 fighter jets to maintain “leverage” over China as the two civil war foes negotiate closer ties.
The Obama administration will give “serious consideration” to selling Taiwan new Lockheed Martin Corp. F-16 fighter jets, a White House official said, creating a potential new flashpoint with China ahead of next week’s high- level meetings between U.S. and Chinese officials.
When President Barack Obama met Chinese President Xi Jinping last month in California, the relaxed setting beside man-made lakes shimmering in the desert heat was intended to herald an era of cooperation between the leaders of the world’s two largest economies.
The capture of 54 Chinese citizens in Egypt and Sudan signals growing concern for China as its economic power expands abroad and it sends more people to work on infrastructure projects in dangerous places overseas.
When President Barack Obama made his first trip to China in November 2009, he was burdened by the highest U.S. jobless rate in 26 years, a shrinking economy and the biggest federal budget deficit in U.S. history.