- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 8, 2013

President Obama’s flip-flop on attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit and then his decision to stay in Washington to deal with the government shutdown has left America playing second fiddle to China on an important world stage.

Secretary of State John F. Kerry went in Mr. Obama’s place, but Chinese President Xi Jinping was the leading government official and, as such, delivered the keynote speech. And his address contained no mention of Mr. Obama, The New York Times reported.

Instead, the Chinese leader was given the platform to speak at length of China’s interests, China’s economic needs and the positives of Asian-Pacific countries to partner with China for business dealings.

China cannot develop in isolation of the Asia-Pacific, and the Asia-Pacific cannot prosper without China,” Mr. Xi said, as The New York Times reported.

Meanwhile, Mr. Kerry’s speech started with a joke.

“In 2004, obviously, I worked very, very hard to replace a president,” Mr. Kerry said in reference to his failed run for the White House against President George W. Bush. “This is not what I had in mind.”

Mr. Obama at first vowed not to skip his four-nation sweep through the Asian-Pacific region, telling press in the lead-up to the government shutdown that he had nothing to say to his Capitol Hill colleagues on the matter. Then he announced he was skipping two of the stops to deal with the domestic matter. And finally he changed tune completely and announced the government shutdown had grabbed his full attention and he would have to skip the entire trip, including the economic summit.


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