IN SEVEN weeks America's federal budget will self-destruct and plunge America back into recession unless Barack Obama can persuade the Republicans in Congress to raise taxes, which they have vowed never to do. So what is he doing between now and then? He's heading off to visit south-east Asia and attend the East Asian Summit. Nothing shows more clearly how important Asia has become to Obama's agenda than his willingness to leave Washington when his government's budget and America's economy hangs in the balance. The reason of course is China.