Foreign policy is typically the executive branch’s domain because that is the branch that decides who the US negotiates with and what gets offered in those negotiations. However, Tuesday’s Republican victory, particularly the GOP takeover of the House and leadership of some key committees, has the ability to affect the US's dialogue, and in some cases policy, on a few key US relationships with other countries.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, on a four-day visit to China, has not urged the release of Liu Xiaobo, this year's Nobel Peace Prizewinner. Rights groups are highly critical of his general silence on human rights.
'China wants a presence. India is unnerved by all of this,' Robert Kaplan, author of 'Monsoon: The Indian Ocean and the Future of American Power,' told a small gathering in Cambridge.
China has sent security patrols near hotly disputed East China Sea islets and reportedly embargoed 'rare earth' elements to Japan. Tokyo is entering talks with Washington on how to respond.
Rescuers are stepping up frantic efforts to save 11 China miners still believed to be trapped by a deadly gas blast on Saturday.
Beijing traffic jams are notorious – one in September lasted for 10 days. The problem is likely to grow, with Chinese car dealers selling thousands of new cars a day.