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Obama's fraught foreign policy legacy in Asia

The outgoing US president achieved some successes, but left much unfinished

| China

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's unpredictability makes it impossible to say with any certainty in which direction he might take U.S. foreign policy over the next four years. But the benefit of hindsight allows for a steely assessment of U.S. President Barack Obama's legacy on the world stage and particularly in Asia. His accomplishments -- and more so his failures -- create perils and opportunities for the incoming Trump team.

At home, Obama leaves an economy in strong shape. He took office at the height of a debilitating global recession, with spiraling job losses and a housing crisis. But he will bequeath to his successor a modest unemployment rate of 4.7%; 76 straight months of job growth; virtually nonexistent inflation; an average annual gross domestic product growth rate of 2.1%; and a stock market flirting with an elusive and historic Dow Jones Index high of 20,000.

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