WASHINGTON, (Xinhua) — The White House announced Thursday that U.S. President Barack Obama is to travel to China and Laos in early September, during which he will attend the G20 summit and conduct his first visit to Laos.
Obama’s September 2-9 trip will “highlight the President’s ongoing commitment to the G-20 as the premier forum for international economic cooperation as well as the U.S. Rebalance to Asia and the Pacific,” the White House said in a statement.
In China, Obama will participate in his final G-20 summit, “where he will emphasize the need to continue building on the progress made since 2009 in advancing strong, sustainable, and balanced global economic growth,” the statement said.
“He will underscore the importance of G-20 cooperation in promoting a level playing field and broad-based economic opportunity,” it said.
Obama “will also conduct in-depth meetings with President Xi Jinping of China in Hangzhou, where the two leaders will discuss a wide-range of global, regional, and bilateral issues,” it added.
While in Laos, Obama will participate in the U.S.-ASEAN Summit and the East Asia Summit, the statement said.
“Additionally, he will have bilateral meetings with President Bounnhang Vorachith and other key officials to advance U.S.-Lao cooperation on economic, development, and people-to-people ties, among other areas,” it said.
Obama also will participate in the Young Southeast Asian Leadership Initiative Summit, where he will hold a town hall meeting.
During the ASEAN Summit, Obama will discuss ways to strengthen the U.S. economic cooperation with the countries of Southeast Asia, which collectively represent America’s fourth largest trading partner, and further enhance the collaboration on regional and global challenges.
“This visit also will support the President’s efforts to expand opportunities for American businesses and workers to sell their products in some of the world’s fastest-growing markets. Central to this effort is the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the high-standards trade agreement that will unlock key markets to American exports and cement America’s economic leadership in the Asia-Pacific,” the statement added.
This will be Obama’s 11th trip to Asia since taking office in 2009.