US President Barack Obama will visit China in early September for the G20 Summit, the White House has announced.

During his trip, which will take place from September 2-9, Obama will also attend the US-ASEAN Summit and the East Asia Summit in Laos. This is his first official visit to Laos and his last G20 Summit as US President.

obama forbidden city
Obama at the Forbidden City in 2009. Photo: The White House.

At the G20 Leaders’ Summit, which takes place on September 4 and 5 in Hangzhou in eastern China, the US president will emphasise the need to continue building on progress made since he took office in advancing global economic growth. He will also “underscore the importance of G20 cooperation in promoting a level playing field and broad-based economic opportunity.” In addition, Obama will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping to discuss “a wide-range of global, regional, and bilateral issues.”

During the ASEAN Summit, the president will discuss ways to strengthen economic cooperation with Southeast Asian countries, a White House press release said. Meanwhile, at the East Asia Summit, he will “coordinate with the region’s leaders on efforts to advance a rules-based international order.” President Obama will also hold bilateral talks with Laotian president Bounnhang Vorachith.

On his trip, the president will promote the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a trade agreement that aims to deepen economic ties between the US and 11 other countries, including the Asian countries of Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, and Brunei.

The TPP has caused a divide within Obama’s own party back home. China is not part of the negotiations and has announced a rival trade agreement.

At the last US-China talks in June in Beijing, the two expressed clashing positions on human rights and the South China Sea, though proclaimed cooperation on climate change, according to Agence France-Presse.

The Hangzhou government announced that areas of the city will be closed off from Aug. 20 to Sept. 6. Residents must present their ID and pass security to get into key areas, and the city will not receive tour groups during the G20 Summit.

This will be President Obama’s eleventh trip to Asia since he took office in 2009.

Catherine is a Canadian journalist and photographer who lived in Beijing for almost two years, working in TV and online media. Aside from Hong Kong and mainland affairs, she is also interested in urban spaces, art and feminism. She holds a BA in Literature and Art History from the University of British Columbia.