Myanmar first pariah to take up Obama engagement

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- Isolated Myanmar has become the first international pariah to unclench its fist in response to President Barack Obama's 3-year-old offer of engagement.

Obama announced on Friday that Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will travel to the Southeast Asian nation next month in response to signs of reform in the country that was long run by a repressive military regime.

The trip will be the first to Myanmar, also known as Burma, by a secretary of state in 56 years. With it, the administration hopes to encourage broader change by a newly elected civilian government that appears to be hedging its geopolitical bets by opening up to the West. China is Myanmar's long-time benefactor.

Obama's trip to Asia this week was dominated by questions about an increasingly assertive China.