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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Why President Obama Has Difficulty Garnering Respect Internationally

Why President Obama Has Difficulty Garnering Respect Internationally

Ivan Eland Senior Fellow and Director of the Center on Peace & Liberty, The Independent Institute
As President Obama gave his valedictory speech to the United Nations General Assembly and recently returned from a farewell tour of East Asia, it sure seemed like other countries were dissing him. Rodrigo Duterte, the president of the Philippines—a small, poor country that has a territorial dispute with China in the South China Sea and depends on the U.S. military to defend it—launched a personal profane diatribe against Obama not usually used in diplo-speak. Obama’s response was to cancel a formal meeting with Duterte, but then the next day met with him informally anyway. The Chinese insultingly refused to provide a stairway for the president to exit Air Force One when he arrived in China, making him exit through his own stairway at the back of the aircraft. Obama was also reluctant to press small Asian countries—such as Vietnam, Laos, Malaysia, and the Philippines—on human rights, for fear these countries will be driven into China’s orbit.

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