News / Asia

Asia Welcomes Obama Re-Election

US President's Re-election Welcomed in Asiai
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
November 07, 2012 11:25 PM
World leaders across Asia have congratulated U.S. President Barack Obama on his re-election. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, while many in the region have responded favorably to an Obama second term, some say the president has unfinished business.
US President's Re-election Welcomed in Asia
William Ide
Countries across Asia are welcoming the re-election of President Barack Obama and many have responded to the election results by voicing their desire to improve ties with Washington. There is one relationship in the region that many feel is key for Obama to get right during his second term in office and that is Washington’s ties with China.

It is clear from China’s official and initial response to the results that it wants the two countries ties to improve and is aware of how broad the impact of relations can be.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei says China is willing to work together with the United States, look to the future and continue to push forward cooperation to better serve the people of both countries and the world.

As China’s influence in Asia grows, the country is becoming increasingly assertive in its territorial claims. This has put it at odds at times with its neighbors and the United States.

At the same time, the United States launched a new policy in Asia earlier this year that seeks to refocus its attention on Asia, the so-called "pivot to Asia." The shift is being welcomed by several countries in the region.

Thitinan Pongsudhirak is the director of Chulalongkorn University's Institute of Security and International Studies.

"President Obama's administration has treated Southeast Asia as a region, not just as a system of hub and spokes traditionally in U.S. foreign policy," he said. "But, as a region, very sophisticated this time. And, he's building on that. At the same time, it's also designed to counter-balance China."

Japan, which has seen itself increasingly embroiled in a dispute with China in recent months about islands in the East China Sea, welcomes the president’s re-election and his efforts to put more emphasis on the Asian region.

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura says that, as the security environment in East Asia steadily gets worse, the importance of the Japan-U.S. alliance is increasing. He says that Japan hopes President Obama will continue to develop this alliance.

South Korea has also welcomed the re-election of  Obama. A spokesperson says President Lee Myung-bak sent a congratulatory letter that praised relations with Washington as having become more steady under President Obama.

And, in Burma, where the United States has boosted trade and political ties following the country’s political reforms, authorities say Obama’s victory means they can build on the relationship, rather than starting over with a new administration under Mitt Romney.

Zaw Htay, the director of the Burmese President Thein Sein’s office, says he believes the two countries’ relationship can be stronger than before. He says Obama’s foreign policy on Burma is supported by both the House and Senate.  

Out on the streets in Beijing, most were glad to hear that President Obama was re-elected, but it was also clear that some felt the two countries still needed to improve ties.

Guan, a 28-year-old trader, says he supports Obama. Guan says that, although he does not feel there are any huge issues between China and the U.S., there are some sensitive issues like the Diaoyu Islands in which there are some differences. He adds that there might also be some matters related to trade, for example, in which the United States might interfere a bit too much.

Other Beijing residents felt that the two countries are suffering a cultural disconnect, that they really did not understand one another. But, they say the fact that Obama has been re-elected will give the two countries more time to improve relations.

You May Like

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid