President Barack Obama faces tensions with China over trade and Tibet on his first visit to the emerging superpower for a summit that will grapple with economic imbalances and the future of the yuan.
Obama arrived in Shanghai, China’s commercial hub, late yesterday to torrential rain and is due to meet city officials and hold a town hall-style meeting with young people before heading to Beijing later today.
Chinese state-run Internet sites have asked the public for suggested questions to quiz Obama with at the youth meeting, and many urged him to explain any plans to meet the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan leader whom Beijing scorns as a “separatist.”
These events will be a warm-up for Obama’s summit with President Hu Jintao in the national capital tomorrow that will cover trouble-spots such as North Korea and Iran, and efforts to forge a new climate pact.
Obama has said he will also raise the sensitive subjects of human rights, and sometimes tense trade ties.