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

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

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