Obama to welcome Singapore PM Lee Hsien Loong next week

WASHINGTON (AFP) - US President Barack Obama will welcome Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to the White House on Tuesday, as he seeks to bolster his diplomatic 'pivot' to Asia in his second term.

The White House said on Wednesday that next week's talks would focus on a range of strategic and economic questions in the Asia Pacific region, which is pre-occupied with the rise of China and the US response to Beijing's emergence.

"The prime minister's visit underscores the strategic importance the president places on Asia and the value we place on our relationship with Singapore as a key partner," a White House statement said.

The talks will also prepare the way for Obama's expected visits later this year to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit in Bali, Indonesia and the East Asia summit in Brunei.

Join ST's WhatsApp Channel and get the latest news and must-reads.