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President Barack Obama went off the beaten track Thursday – way off – to a newly expanded marine reserve on an atoll in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, part of an effort to polish his environmental legacy.
Obama previewed the message he will send to Chinese President Xi Jinping at his last meeting with G20 world leaders.
The president’s remarks came as he toured Midway Atoll near Hawaii – a swing in which he has highlighted climate change, The Hill reported.
But there will be few bright spots in talks with fellow world leaders, who are grappling with the sagging global economy, fallout from Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, increasing suspicion of globalisation, the fight against ISIS militants and territorial disputes in East Asia.
Critics, however, have accused the USA of not doing enough to check the rising power. The president then paid a visit to the Battle of Midway memorial before delivering a short statement at Turtle Beach.
Republican nominee Donald Trump has alarmed allies like Japan and South Korea by suggesting they should pay more for their security and even develop their own nuclear weapons to protect against the threat posed by North Korea.
“This is something that all of us are going to have to tackle and maybe I get a little more of a hearing if I’m not occupying a political office”, he said.
Before leaving for Asia, Obama told CNN he planned to urge Xi to practice restraint.
Few Americans have ever visited Midway, with its black-footed albatrosses and spinner dolphins – and that’s exactly Obama’s point. “This is an area twice the size of Texas that’s going to be protected, and it allows us to save and study the fragile ecosystem threatened by climate change”.
Irritants include USA accusations of Chinese cyber hacking, disputes over trade and Beijing’s pursuit of contested claims in the South China Sea.
Obama, in contrast, has led the charge to secure the recently struck Paris climate agreement.
U.S. President Barack Obama said security relations with Turkey have not diminished as a result of a failed Turkish coup attempt in mid-July, according to excerpts of an interview with CNN to be broadcast on Sunday.
White House aides have left open the prospect of an informal encounter with Russian President Vladimir Putin, which whom Obama is sharply at odds over Syria and Ukraine.
Aiming to build on previous cooperation, the USA and China have also been discussing a global agreement on aviation emissions, though there’s some disagreement about what obligations developing countries should face in the first years. Most recently, the US has urged China to accept an worldwide arbitration panel’s ruling that sided with the Philippines in a dispute over claims in the South China Sea.
Because the United States plan was termed an “executive agreement”, the White House says Obama did not require Senate approval for ratification.
Obama said his trip to the Pacific Island has been to “provide some visual aid to understanding what’s happening” regarding climate change.
Strains with Duterte could add to Obama’s difficulties in forging a united front on the South China Sea with Southeast Asian partners.
Western diplomats in Beijing, however, said the Chinese government had its own difficulties reading Duterte.