Courting Asia, Obama finds that the world intrudes

U.S. President Barack Obama, left, meets with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao , right, during the East Asia Summit at the Peace Palace in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)For all the attention wrenched elsewhere in recent days — on new violence in the Middle East, the "fiscal cliff" back home — President Barack Obama's speedy trip to Southeast Asia achieved a major goal: It was clearly seen in the region as a validation of Asia's strategic importance as the U.S. refocuses its foreign policy to counter China's clout.

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