On Tuesday, former President Barack Obama embarked on a five-day trip to China, India, and France, where he will meet with Chinese leader Xi Jinping and Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi before speaking at the introductory session of the Les Napoleons Summit in Paris.
Obama reportedly began his trip Tuesday in Shanghai with private meetings. He also spoke at a trade summit. On Wednesday, he will head to Beijing where he will speak at a summit for education and be reunited with Xi.
The former president’s trip is taking place shortly after President Donald Trump’s historic 12-day trip to Asia and First Daughter Ivanka Trump’s trip to India, where she is visiting between November 28-30 for the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES).
It is rare for past presidents to meet with world leaders while a president from the opposing political party is in power.
In 2008, former President Jimmy Carter, a Democrat, met with the exiled leader of Islamic terrorist organization Hamas in Syria, despite stark opposition from the Republican Bush administration and Israel, a staunch U.S. ally.
“As President, Obama forged a close and cooperative partnership with President Xi on issues ranging from growing the global economy to combating climate change, and he looks forward to catching up with his former counterpart,” Obama spokeswoman Katie Hill told CNN.
Following his meeting in late October with Xi Jinping, President Trump said, “People say we have the best relationship of any president-president.” He added, “Now some people might call him the king of China. But he’s called president. But we have a very good relationship and that’s a positive thing.”
In addition to his meeting with Modi in New Delhi on December 1, Obama will reportedly speak at an Obama Foundation Town Hall as well as at the HT Media Leadership Summit.
On Tuesday, Ivanka Trump tweeted, “It was an honor to meet with you Prime Minister Modi. Thank you for co-hosting the 8th annual Global Entrepreneurship Summit! @StateDept.”
— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) November 28, 2017
The summit’s slogan this year is “Women First, Prosperity for All.”
Amid growing tensions between Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and the White House, Tillerson decided against sending a high-level delegation to support the first daughter on her trip to Hyderabad, India.