President Barack Obama begins his 11th and final presidential trip to the Asia-Pacific in earnest on Friday, visiting China to nurture what has become arguably the world's most important relationship and cementing an eight-year "pivot to Asia."
There were no smiles or warmth and no lingering chit-chat, but the leaders of China and Japan actually shook hands in front of the cameras. And even that small step is a good sign for a troubled relationship.
The protests at Tiananmen Square in 1989 were a huge news story around the world. But part of the reason for that was a fluke of history. The foreign media was already in Beijing — at the invitation of the Chinese government.
President Barack Obama has announced his intention to shift America's foreign policy away from Iraq and Afghanistan and toward China and Asia in general. That could be easier, some experts say, in a second term. But he may be boxed in by budget cuts. And what if Mitt Romney wins? What will he do?
China will undergo its once-in-a-decade leadership transition this year -- and the stakes are always high. This year, though, rumors of military coups and political intrigue among top leaders is complicating matters and has political leaders doing their best to retain control.
As China seeks to assert itself in Asia, President Barack Obama visited Australia to announce deeper ties between the nations' militaries, including a new Marine base for the United States. The move was seen as a counter-balance against China's growing presence.
After being detained for 80 days by the Chinese Government, artist Ai Weiwei was released on bail. The government cites economic crimes for his detention, such as evading taxes and destroying documents.