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China's shadow to follow Obama around Asia

A Malaysian Muslim activist walks past a banner during a protest against US President Barack Obama's upcoming visit to Malaysia, outside the US Embassy in Kuala Lumpur on April 18, 2014President Barack Obama will not visit China on his Asia tour next week, but its broadening shadow will be cast everywhere he goes at a time of complex regional disputes and questions about US strategy. China’s regional ascent is now reality, with its growing economic and military influence nudging and worrying neighbors that look to Washington as a counterweight. China is the “leitmotif that’s going to be running through the trip,” said Christopher Johnson, a former CIA China analyst now at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “The thing that both Beijing and those of us who watch at all closely will be watching …will the president be saying the ‘C-word’ — China — on a regular basis throughout the trip?”

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