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An Asian post-election checklist for Obama

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The U.S. Capitol dome, left, and Senate chamber are seen on election day in Washington, Nov. 4.   © Reuters

Just days after the Nov. 4 midterm election transformed the U.S. political landscape by handing control of Congress to Republicans, President Barack Obama will land in Asia for a series of summits with regional and world leaders. The timing is significant: Washington's new political constellation and the president's ability to move foreign friends and adversaries alike on key issues will define his last two years in office, after recent rough patches at home and abroad. Here are five things Obama can do to turn weakness into strength in the week he attends the Nov. 10 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Beijing, the subsequent East Asia Summit in Naypyitaw and the G-20 leaders' meeting in Brisbane, Australia, on Nov. 15-16.

(1) Leverage the new Republican majority in Congress to do a deal on trade.

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