What Obama must do in Asia
Should the president play hardball in Japan and China, or just smile and make nice?
President Obama began a tour of Asia on Friday with a stop in Tokyo to mend frayed relations with Japan. Obama will also visit China, Singapore, and South Korea on his nine-day trip. His stops in China's Shanghai and Beijing may be the most closely watched, because Obama must build trust while signaling America's respect for human rights. What should Obama say on his Asia tour? (Watch a report previewing Obama's Asian tour)
Obama just has to smile: Gone are the days when American presidents can go to Asia and make demands, says Michael Hirsh in Newsweek. President Obama just has to smile and push America's new policy of "strategic reassurance." That means telling China that we'll welcome its rise, "and in return we will ask to be reassured by these emergent powers that they won't be mean to us in the future."
Obama should earn his peace prize: For too long human rights has been "regarded as 'interfering' with U.S.-China relations, says Times Wang in The Washington Post. President Obama's Nobel Peace Prize was "a call to action," and "this visit is the time to act." Obama should use this opportunity to "confront human rights issues" in China, and stand up for dissidents who have placed their hope in him.
"For Obama, a dream from my father"
First, let's repair damaged relations: President Obama must clean up, say the editors of the San Francisco Chronicle, after "the demolition job that the prior president did on the U.S. image abroad." Later, the Asian partners Obama is meeting can help fix many of "the world's big problems -- global warming, terrorism, economic stress." But for now, Obama just needs to shake hands and exchange warm greetings -- his "time will be well spent even if he comes away with only passport stamps."
"Obama's Asian trip"