(USA Today) On his first overseas trip since his re-election, President Obama heads Saturday for the Southeast Asian nations of Thailand, Burma and Cambodia.

He’ll meet a much revered king, an army general turned president and a strongman who fought for the murderous Khmer Rouge.

But throughout his whirlwind, four-day tour, another Asian country will loom large. For the trip appears set to reinforce the U.S. “pivot” toward Asia, a strategic shift since 2011 that communist China views as being aimed squarely at countering its influence and containing its growth.

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