News / USA

Kerry to Visit China, S. Korea, Indonesia and Abu Dhabi

FILE - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry at the State Department in Washington, Jan. 16, 2014.
FILE - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry at the State Department in Washington, Jan. 16, 2014.
Reuters
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will begin a trip this week to China, South Korea, Indonesia and the United Arab Emirates, the State Department said on Sunday, at a time of high tensions in Asia over China's increasingly assertive territorial claims.
 
The trip, which runs from Thursday to Feb. 18, will be Kerry's fifth visit to Asia since he became secretary of state just over a year ago, and comes before a planned visit by President Barack Obama in April to promote a strategic U.S. “pivot” to the region announced in 2011.
 
Kerry will visit Seoul, Beijing, Jakarta and Abu Dhabi “to meet with senior government officials and address a range of bilateral, regional, and global issues,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement.
 
In Beijing and Seoul, Kerry's talks are expected to focus on an air defense zone China declared last year covering territory also claimed by South Korea and Japan, including uninhabited islands in the East China Sea. He is also expected to discuss concerns about North Korea's nuclear program.
 
Psaki said Kerry would relay to Chinese officials “that the United States is committed to pursuing a positive, cooperative, comprehensive relationship and welcomes the rise of a peaceful and prosperous China that plays a positive role in world affairs.”
 
He will also discuss North Korea and highlight the importance of U.S.-China collaboration on climate change and clean energy, Psaki's statement said.
 
During his stop in Seoul, Kerry will discuss North Korea and ways to expand U.S.-South Korean cooperation on regional and global issues, the statement added.
 
In Jakarta, Kerry will co-chair the Joint Commission Meeting under the U.S.-Indonesia Comprehensive Partnership and meet the  secretary general of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
 
While in Abu Dhabi, he will discuss issues of interest to the U.S.-UAE relationship, the State Department said.
 
Kerry has faced criticism for the amount of time he has devoted to peace efforts in the Middle East rather than the rebalancing of military and economic focus toward Asia in reaction to the growing clout of China.
 
Concerns about U.S. commitments to the region were highlighted in October when Obama called off plans to attend two summits in Asia because of a budget crisis at home.
 
Kerry stood in for Obama at those meetings and held talks in Japan involving U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera in which they agreed to modernize the U.S.-Japan defense alliance for the first time in 16 years.
 
Vice President Joe Biden followed up with a visit to Japan, Beijing and Seoul in December, but Kerry will have to work hard to counter a perception among many in Asia that Obama's pivot is more rhetoric than substance.
 
Security Collaboration
 
On Friday, Kerry met Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida in Washington and stressed the U.S. commitment to the defense of Japan and stability in the Asia-Pacific region against the backdrop of Chinese territorial claims.
 
He said the United States and Japan were committed to closer security collaboration and reiterated that Washington “neither recognizes nor accepts” an air defense zone China has declared in East China Sea and would not change how it conducts operations there.
 
The United States flew B-52s through the Chinese air defense zone after it was declared last year. U.S. officials have warned that any declaration by Beijing of another such zone in the South China Sea could result in changes to U.S. military deployments in the region.
 
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei attacked Kerry's remarks on Saturday, saying China's air defense zone was fully in line with international law and norms.
 
“We urge the U.S. side to stop making irresponsible remarks so as not to harm regional stability and tChina-U.S. relationship,” Hong said.

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Secret Service Head: Breach Won't Happen Again

Julia Pierson tells a House panel investigating a recent intrusion at the White House: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid