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

Photogallery South Africa Bans Travelers From Ebola-stricken Countries

South Africans returning from affected West African countries will be thoroughly screened, required to fill out medical questionnaire, health minister says More

Multimedia UN Launches ‘Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years’ in Iraq

Move aims to help thousands of Iraqi religious minorities who fled their homes as Kurdish, Iraqi government forces battle Sunni insurgents More

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

IT specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about disease More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebolai
X
George Putic
August 20, 2014 8:57 PM
While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls for Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid