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

Ukraine President Appeals for More US Support

Speaking before Congress ahead of meeting with President Obama, Petro Poroshenko urges lawmakers to back Ukraine in its quest for freedom and democracy More

Photogallery Global Audience Watches as Scots Go to the Polls

People were almost equally divided over a vote for independence, watched closely by Britain's allies, investors and restive regions at home and abroad More

China to Invest $20B in India Amid Border Dispute

Border spat between armies of two countries in Himalayas underlines mutual tensions despite growing commercial ties highlighted by Xi Jinping's high-profile visit More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
X
September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid