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Obama Asia Tour Starts With Scathing Attack by China State Media

China's state media issued a scathing attack on the United States just hours before Barack Obama touched down for a week-long tour of Asia on Wednesday.

The Xinhua news agency published a commentary slamming the U.S. as a "myopic" superpower that was trying to "cage" its Asian counterpart.

Obama landed in Tokyo around 6 a.m. ET and will visit Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and the Philippines over the next five days. The trip is part of a wider attempt to "rebalance" and "pivot" toward Asia.

Obama greeted in Japan by Caroline Kennedy 2:39

But Xinhua, which is a mouthpiece of the Beijing government, said the policy "smacks of a carefully calculated scheme to cage" China.

"While the outer layer of Washington's logic indicates an adaptable and far-sighted global colossus, the inner layer betrays a sclerotic and myopic superpower trapped by recent history in a confrontational mindset," it said.

Mitchell: Pivoting to Asia is No Easy Task 1:38

"Such a double character is dangerous and unsustainable," it added, urging the White House to "shake off its historical and philosophical shackles and update its Asia policy in line with the new realities."

The piece referenced Obama not visiting China during the trip and told him to "stop pampering its chums like Japan and the Philippines," a reference to its various island territorial disputes with maritime neighbors.

Image: President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping
President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping met on the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit in The Netherlands in March. SAUL LOEB / AFP - Getty Images, file

Obama told the Japanese Yomiuri newspaper Wednesday that the U.S. welcomes "the continuing rise of a China that is stable, prosperous and peaceful and plays a responsible role in global affairs," according to a Reuters translation.

"And our engagement with China does not and will not come at the expense of Japan or any other ally."

Reuters contributed to this report.

- Alexander Smith