The United States' new emphasis on its Asia-Pacific links comes as China prepares to usher in a new generation of leaders.
Xi Jinping, China's vice president, is widely expected to succeed President Hu Jintao at the Communist Party Congress in Beijing this week.
But whether Hu will stay on as China's military leader, or immediately relinquish the powerful post to his successor Xi remains unclear.
Al Jazeera's Mike Hanna reports from Beijing.
Source: Al Jazeera