News / USA

Kerry Defends US Commitment to Asia at APEC

Kerry Defends US Commitment to Asia at APECi
X
October 08, 2013 7:15 AM
Filling in for the president, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has reassured Asian leaders of the U.S. commitment to the region. Kerry said the partial U.S. government shutdown is a mere footnote, and in a hyper globalized world a secure economic system is the best antidote to religious fundamentalism.
Watch: Related video by Scott Stearns
Kate Lamb
Filling in for the president, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has reassured Asian leaders of the U.S. commitment to the region. Kerry said the partial U.S. government shutdown is a mere footnote, and in a hyper globalized world a secure economic system is the best antidote to religious fundamentalism.

After U.S. President Barack Obama was forced to stay home and address the government deadlock, Secretary of State John Kerry reassured APEC leaders gathered in Bali, Indonesia, that American commitment to the region is unwavering.

Joking that when he campaigned to replace the president in 2004 this is not what he had in mind, Kerry said the United States would bounce back and the shutdown would quickly pass.

"I guarantee you we will move beyond this, and we will move beyond it with strength and determination," said Kerry.

Obama’s absence at the summit of economic heavyweights, part of his canceled Asian tour, however, has prompted criticism that America’s much-touted "Asia pivot" also is transient.

China gains leverage

U.S. attention has continued to be occupied by political instability in the Middle East and a civil war in Syria, all at a time when China is shoring up regional ties.

Analysts say Obama’s absence has given China a critical advantage.

In a prelude to the APEC summit, Chinese President Xi Jinping signed a $33-billion trade deal with Indonesia and pledged to significantly boost trade with neighboring Malaysia by 2017.

At the APEC summit, the U.S. president had planned to push forward on negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership [TPP], a U.S.-led trade bloc that excludes China.

The TPP will formalize open market access between 12 major economies, including Japan, Canada and Mexico.

Speaking at the forum on Monday, Kerry stressed the trade initiative remains a key element of the Obama’s administration Asia pivot.

"We understand how critical this is. At its core, TPP is about generating growth for our economies and jobs for our people by unleashing a wave of investment and entrepreneurship, all across the Asia Pacific. This comes at a time when we all seek strong and sustainable growth. TPP is creating a race to the top, not to the bottom," he said.

APEC’s 21 member countries account for more than half of global GDP and about 44 percent of world trade.

Obama’s decision to skip this year’s summit drew the sympathies of Russian President Vladamir Putin.

Putin comments

Putin said the U.S. situation is not easy and Obama’s decision to skip APEC was "quite justified." "If I was in a similar situation," said Putin, "I would not come either. Nor would any other head of state."

As the world’s largest economy, Putin said solving the U.S. shutdown as swiftly as possible is in the interests of all.

Speaking to the strength of the global economy, Kerry also said that in today’s hyper globalized world, economic security is the best antidote to religious fundamentalism.

"In a world where vast populations of young people are exploding on the scene with aspirations and demands all interconnected by the social media, at that time, anarchy and terror are sometimes offered as alternatives to the fulfillment of those jobs and opportunity," said Kerry.

The comments come on the back of two consecutive raids by U.S. forces against two high value terrorist targets in Somalia and Libya. The Libyan raid resulted in the capture of a leading al-Qaida leader.

Following the APEC meeting that ends Monday, John Kerry will travel with a U.S. delegation to Brunei to attend the East Asia Summit.

You May Like

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More