The overlapping power transitions in East Asia's three main economies promise to mark a defining moment in the region's tense geopolitics and compound America's diplomatic challenges.
The State Department is pressuring Beijing about its communist ally North Korea following failed efforts to halt the recent rocket launch that proved to be Pyongyang's first successful long-range missile test.
A Chinese-made J-7 fighter-interceptor jet crashed into a civilian residential area earlier this month, injuring four people on the ground.
A leader of an al Qaeda-inspired militant group fighting the regime in Syria said his men do not fear death and they are determined to form an Islamic state.
China's military has used two J-15 stealth fighter jets for its first publicized aircraft carrier landing-and-takeoff operation.
Xi Jinping became leader of China on Thursday, securing the Communist Party's top spot and oversight of the military in a political transition upset by scandals that have added fuel to public demands for change as the country faces slower economic growth.
China's one and only aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, set sail again recently to test a routine but important maneuver: aircraft takeoff from its deck and a completely stopped landing back on deck.
President Hu Jintao stepped aside as ruling party leader Wednesday to clear the way for Vice President Xi Jinping to take China's helm as part of only the second orderly transfer of power in 63 years of Communist rule.
While foreign policy failed to rise to prominence during the election, the United States will not be able to escape the price of foreign policy failure. One crisis that started during President Obama's first term, which could "explode" during his second, is that of China's blatant contribution to a North Korean nuclear missile capability.