○ Obama is busy persuading state leaders
U.S. President Barack Obama may not be able to pay attention to other issues as he is so much occupied by persuading European leaders to build a common front against Russia over the Ukraine crisis. Even his highly anticipated meeting with Pope Francis is unlikely to get much media spotlight.
His primary concern is to draw satisfying results at the meeting of G7, a group of 7 major nations without Russia to be held on Tuesday where leaders will discuss measures to impose sanctions against Russia and send a strong warning message to its President Vladimir Putin. At the trilateral summit among Korea, the United States and Japan, which was agreed to be held last week, President Obama is likely to focus on getting support from Korea and Japan with regard to the Ukraine crisis although the key agenda is North Korean nuclear issues and security in Northeast Asia.
From Wednesday, he will actively start persuading European leaders by visiting to the EU and NATO headquarters in Brussels. Many expect that it would be difficult for him to receive full support from the EU because he has reduced his interest in Europe since the inauguration. For example, he has eliminated the U.S.-EU annual meeting. Besides, he should normalize the estranged relations with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, which have been damaged due to reckless wiretapping by the U.S. National Security Agency.
○ China expands its diplomatic horizon
Chinese President Xi Jinping has begun his first-ever state trip to Europe on Saturday since taking office in March last year. Now, he seems to be ready to reinforce Chinas international standing in various areas, such as nuclear issues, conflicts between Russia and the West, culture and diplomacy.
At the Nuclear Security Summit, Chinese Foreign Vice Minister Li Baodong announced that China would propose Chinas views on nuclear safety, which involve the safety management of nuclear materials and facilities and reasonable development and use of nuclear energy. Cui Hongjian, a research fellow in China Institute of International Studies, forecast that the views on nuclear safety first proposed by China will draw international attention.
Which stance the Chinese president will take about Russias annexation of Crimea Republic also draws attention. Although Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi publicly said on March 5 that the China-Russia relations had been reaching a historic peak, China cannot just fully support the annexation because it may affect its internal issues of Tibet and Xinjiang Uygur, the regions seeking independence from China.
Xis visit to the headquarters of UNESCO and EU will be the first one as a Chinese head of state. The researcher interpreted this as the leaders willingness to pursue a full-scale powerhouse in all areas including economy and culture.