HONOLULU—President Barack Obama plunged into a long-awaited and high-stakes mission to re-establish U.S. leadership in the Pacific but is bumping into the expanding influence of China at every turn.
Mr. Obama hosted a forum of 21 Asian-Pacific nations in Hawaii over the weekend. But one of those countries, China, occupied an outsize share of the president's attention and that of his aides, underscoring the challenges the U.S. faces in the Pacific.
One of Mr. Obama's core objectives is to serve notice that the United States will serve as a counterweight to China's growing economic, diplomatic and military influence.
"This trip ...
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