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

Kurdish Party Pushes Political Gamble to Run in Turkey Poll

HDP announces it will run as political party instead of fielding independent candidates in June election, but faces tough 10 percent threshold More

Twitter Targets Islamic State

New research shows suspending Twitter accounts of Islamic State, its supporters has been effective; group, its backers are facing 'significant pressure,' says terrorism expert More

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

Majur Juac made the leap from being a refugee in Africa to a master chess champion in US, where he shares his expertise with students More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Webi
X
January 29, 2015 9:58 AM
Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video As Ground Shifts, Obama Reviews Middle East Strategy

The death of Saudi Arabia’s king, the collapse of a U.S.-friendly government in Yemen and a problematic relationship with Israel’s leadership are presenting a new set of complications for the Obama administration and its Middle East policy. Not only is the U.S. leader dealing with adversaries in Iran, the Islamic State and al-Qaida, but he is now juggling trouble with traditional allies, as White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures. For now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Saved By a Mistake - an Auschwitz Survivor's Story

Dagmar Lieblova was 14 when she arrived at Auschwitz in December 1943, along with her entire Czech Jewish family. All of them were to die there, but she was able to leave after several months due to a bureaucratic mix-up which saved her life. Now 85, with three children and six grandchildren, she says she has a feeling of victory. This report by Ahmad Wadiei and Farin Assemi, of RFE/RL's Radio Farda is narrated by RFE’s Raymond Furlong.

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

All About America

AppleAndroid