News / Asia

    Obama Reaffirms Asia-Pacific Foreign Policy Shift

    U.S. President Barack Obama addresses the Australian Parliament in Canberra, Australia, Thursday, Nov. 17, 2011.
    U.S. President Barack Obama addresses the Australian Parliament in Canberra, Australia, Thursday, Nov. 17, 2011.
    Phil Mercer

    U.S. President Barack Obama has reaffirmed Washington’s “unbreakable alliance” with Australia during a speech to parliament in Canberra Thursday.  Mr. Obama said the United States’s diplomatic focus would now shift from the war on terrorism to economic and security challenges in the Asia-Pacific region.  He is the fourth U.S. president to address lawmakers in the Australian capital.  From Sydney, Phil Mercer reports.

    Mr. Obama was warmly received by Australian lawmakers.  He said the bilateral security alliance was “unbreakable” and that the bonds between the United States and Australia “run deep”.

    “From the trenches of the First World War to the mountains of Afghanistan, Aussies and Americans have stood together.  We have fought together; we have given lives together in every single major conflict of the past 100 years, every single one.  The solidarity has sustained us through a difficult decade.  We will never forget the attacks of 9/11 that took the lives not only of Americans but people from many nations including Australia,” he said.   

    Mr. Obama’s address to the Parliament in Canberra came a day after announcing that the U.S. would deploy military aircraft and up to 2,500 Marines to northern Australia, a move seen by regional analysts as sending an unmistakable message to China.

    Beijing has responded frostily, stressing that the deployment “may not be quite appropriate."

    President Obama welcomed the rise of China as an economic and military power but said he wanted more engagement between U.S .and Chinese forces “to avoid misunderstandings.”

    He has, though, promised to expand U.S. influence in the Asia-Pacific region and “project power and deter threats to peace” in that part of the world.

    “As the world’s fastest-growing region - and home to more than half the global economy  -the Asia-Pacific is critical to achieving my highest priority and that is creating jobs and opportunity for the American people.  With most of the world’s nuclear powers and some half of humanity Asia will largely define whether the century ahead will be marked by conflict or cooperation,” Mr. Obama said.

    President Obama also said human rights violations continue in Burma and called on nations to build support for the fundamental rights all citizens.

    He noted that while Burmese democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi is currently free from house arrest and some political prisoners have been released, the United States would continue to speak out against abuses.

    Washington is shifting its diplomatic focus from the Middle East and the war on terrorism to the security challenges and economic opportunities in the Asia-Pacific region.  The president said that as the U.S. ends its military involvement in Iraq and winds down operations in Afghanistan there would be some reductions in defense spending but that he is committed to maintaining America's influence in the Asia-Pacific region

    Following his address to the Australian parliament in Canberra, the president flies to the northern city of Darwin before attending the 18-nation East Asia summit on the Indonesian island of Bali.

    You May Like

    New EU Asylum Rules Could Boost Rightists

    New regulations will seek to correct EU failures in dealing with migrant crisis, most notably inability to get member states to absorb a total of 160,000 refugees

    More Political Turmoil Likely in Iraq as Iran Waits in the Wings

    Analysts warn that Tehran, even though it may not be engineering the Sadrist protests in Baghdad, is seeking to leverage its influence on its neighbor

    Forced Anal Testing Case to Appear Before Kenya Court

    Men challenge use of anal examinations to ‘prove homosexuality’; practice accomplishes nothing except to humiliate those subjected to them, according to Human Rights Watch

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Rulingi
    X
    May 03, 2016 5:16 PM
    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Elephant Summit Results in $5M in Pledges, Presidential Support

    Attended and supported by three African presidents, a three-day anti-poaching summit has concluded in Kenya, resulting in $5 million in pledges and a united message to the world that elephants are worth more alive than dead. The summit culminated at the Nairobi National Park with the largest ivory burn in history. VOA’s Jill Craig attended the summit and has this report about the outcomes.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With the conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, between the rebel PKK and the Turkish state, many Kurds are trying to escape the turmoil by focusing on the success of their football team Amedspor in Diyarbakir. The club is increasingly becoming a symbol for Kurds, not only in Diyarbakir but beyond. Dorian Jones reports from southeast Turkey.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora