News / Asia

Kerry Says There is No Let Up in US Asia Pivot

Kerry Says There is No Let Up in US Asia Pivoti
X
February 25, 2014 5:37 PM
During last week's trip to Asia, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry worked to reassure allies about the Obama administration's commitment to its so-called Asia Pivot of political and military resources to the region. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on how that policy has struggled to show results.
Kerry Says There is No Let Up in US Asia Pivot
During last week's trip to Asia, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry worked to reassure allies about the Obama administration's commitment to its so-called Asia Pivot of political and military resources to the region.

The U.S. Asia Pivot is meant to bolster operations in the Asia Pacific with forces redeployed from Iraq and Afghanistan as Washington also plans to use new diplomatic and commercial resources to help reinforce its standing as a Pacific power.

"I want to confirm that the United States rebalance to the Asia Pacific remains a top priority for the Obama Administration," said Secretary of State John Kerry. "Every day, at the president’s direction, we are directing more diplomatic, more economic and more military resources to help advance the goals that we share with our partners throughout this region."

It has not always been clear what those shared goals are because the goals of the pivot itself are unclear, says American Enterprise Institute analyst Michael Auslin.

"The administration never articulated what the pivot was for, what the rebalance was for.  It's not that it was a bad idea. It was a good idea.  But they never explained it.  They never sold it.  They never told us why it was important," he said.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton first launched the Asia Pivot, but Cato Institute analyst Doug Bandow says it has lost steam under Secretary Kerry.

"The pivot in many ways was Secretary Clinton's initiative. She focused on it. Secretary Kerry, of course, has spent a lot of time in the Middle East, a lot of time promoting negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis, now focused on Syria. So his emphasis never quite seemed to be as much on Asia," he said.

Secretary Kerry says there is no let-up on the Asia Pivot.  And he has repeatedly sought to reassure Beijing it is not meant to check Chinese influence.

But China says the U.S. is interfering in rival territorial claims in the East China Sea and the South China Sea, where Washington says Beijing is displaying an "incremental pattern of assertiveness."

"It is extremely irresponsible for the United States to make groundless accusations against China without checking the facts," said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei.

Washington especially risks being drawn into the dispute over islands between China and Japan, where American University professor Lou Goodman says uncertainty about the Asia Pivot could make things worse.

"There are domestic politics operating in both China and Japan that when this issue gets raised causes responses that are strong," said Goodman.

Auslin says unmet expectations about a bigger presence in Asia could be worse than if Washington did nothing at all.

"We may have bitterly disappointed those who really were hoping for not only an expanded U.S. role but a more innovative U.S. role, a U.S. role that really looked at how you could build up a more liberal and democratic Asia, one that had rules and norms of order," he said.

Kerry says the Asia Pivot can best deliver through continued cooperation with regional alliances like ASEAN,  something he says shows Washington's seriousness about the region through broad, across-the-board engagement.

You May Like

Jihadist Assassin says Goal of Tunisia Murders Was Chaos

Abu Muqatil at-Tunusi’s remarks in a propaganda interview also cast light on attack on Bardo Museum More

Russia Denies License to Tatar-Language TV Station in Crimea

OSCE official says denial shows 'politically selective censorship of free and independent voices in Crimea is continuing' More

Kenyan Startups Tackle Expensive Remittances Through Bitcoin

Some think services could give Western Union a run for its money, though others say it’s still got a long way to go More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leadersi
X
Aru Pande
April 01, 2015 9:09 PM
The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leaders

The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Buhari: Nigeria Has ‘Embraced Democracy’

Nigeria woke up to a new president-elect Wednesday, Muhammadu Buhari. But people say democracy is the real winner as the country embarks on its first peaceful handover of power since the end of military rule in 1999. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Abuja.
Video

Video Tiny Camera Sees Inside Blood Vessels

Ahead of any surgical procedure, doctors try to learn as much as possible about the state of the organs they plan to operate on. A new camera developed in the Netherlands can now make that easier - giving surgeons an incredibly detailed look inside blood vessels, all the way to the patient’s heart. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Latin American Groups Seek Fans at Texas Music Festival

Latin American music groups played all over Austin, Texas, during the recent South by Southwest festival, and some made fans out of locals as well as people from around the world who had come to hear music. Such exposure can boost such groups' image back home. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Stockton Community, Police, Work to Improve Relations

Relations are tense between minority communities and police departments around the United States following police shootings that have generated widely-publicized protests. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Stockton, California, where police and community groups are working toward solutions, with backing from Washington.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
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.

VOA Blogs

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