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Kor Kian Beng

Washington taking soft and tough approach, say analysts

Published on Apr 30, 2014 2:10 PM
US President Barack Obama (second from left) touring the National Mosque of Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur on April 27, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS 

Chinese state media have slammed United States President Barack Obama's latest trip to Asia, particularly his pledge of protection for Japan and the Philippines, although analysts say Beijing should not over-react as Washington may lack the desire and ability to fulfil its promise.

The China Daily yesterday said Mr Obama's declaration that the Diaoyu/Senkaku islands - claimed by both China and Japan - fall under the US-Japan security treaty and his signing of a defence pact with the Philippines are obvious proof that Washington views Beijing as an opponent.

Tensions have run high between China and Japan over their territorial disputes and between Beijing and Manila over their rival claims in the South China Sea.

"With Obama reassuring the US' allies of protection in any conflict with China, it is now clear that Washington is no longer bothering to conceal its attempt to contain China's influence in the region. It is even less convincing to say the US pivot to the Asia-Pacific is not targeted against China," the newspaper said in an editorial.

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