by WorldTribune Staff, November 29, 2017
Two weeks after his successor’s 12-day tour of Asia, former President Barack Obama on Nov. 28 embarked on his own trip which includes plans to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The trip “is probably not a coincidence” for the “shadow president,” Emily Zanotti noted in a report for The Daily Wire.
“Shortly after Donald Trump made his first trip abroad as president, visiting Italy and France as well as several other nations, Obama just happened to schedule follow up trips where he visited many of the same nations and dined privately with leaders who’d spoken to Trump just days before.”
Obama’s communications director said the ex-president was not attempting to undercut President Donald Trump, who has built close ties to both Xi and Modi.
“I would note that it’s common for former presidents to visit countries after they’ve left office and to meet with foreign leaders,” Obama communications director Katie Hill told Voice of America. “This trip is a pretty standard one for the president, in that it’s a mix of speeches, Obama Foundation work, and catching up with foreign leaders, similar to other trips he’s taken to Europe and South America this year.”
Aides to the former president declined to say who was paying for the trip, but confirmed he will be compensated for the speeches.
Obama reportedly began his trip on Nov. 28 in Shanghai with private meetings. He then headed to Beijing on Nov. 29 where he was to speak at a summit for education and be reunited with Xi.
Obama has “forged a close and cooperative partnership with President Xi on issues ranging from growing the global economy to combating climate change, and he looks forward to catching up with his former counterpart,” Hill said.
Following his meeting in late October with Xi, Trump said, “People say we have the best relationship of any president-president.” He added, “Now some people might call him the king of China. But he’s called president. But we have a very good relationship and that’s a positive thing.”
Obama will meet with Modi on Dec. 1.
First Daughter Ivanka Trump is visiting India from Nov. 28-30 for the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES).
Obama will conclude his trip with a speech in Paris on Dec. 2. Aides didn’t rule out the possibility that he could meet with French President Emmanuel Macron, whose presidential campaign Obama endorsed.