News / Asia

    Rice Outlines US Asia-Pacific Priorities, Announces Obama Trip in April

    File - U.S. National Security Advisor Susan Rice.
    File - U.S. National Security Advisor Susan Rice.
    President Barack Obama's national security adviser said the United States remains committed to re-balancing security and economic priorities to the Asia-Pacific region. Susan Rice also has announced Obama's plan to return to Asia next year.

    It was the first major address on Asia-Pacific policy by a top White House official since the president was forced to cancel his trip to the APEC summit in Indonesia, and stops in Malaysia, Brunei and the Philippines.

    Secretary of State John Kerry went in Obama's place, but the president's absence, a result of the 16 day partial U.S. government shutdown, raised new questions about the U.S. re-balancing policy.

    At Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., Rice announced that Obama will return to Asia in April. She also said there should be no questioning the U.S. commitment.

    "Re-balancing toward the Asia-Pacific remains a cornerstone of the Obama administration's foreign policy," said Rice. "No matter how many hot spots emerge elsewhere, we will continue to deepen our enduring commitment to this critical region. Our friends in Asia deserve, and will continue to get, our highest level attention."

    Security, prosperity, democracy

    Rice said Obama's "near term" goals include lasting progress on enhancing security, expanding prosperity, fostering democratic values and advancing human dignity.  

    She said U.S. alliances and force postures, and "upgrading and diversifying security arrangements" aim to make the region more secure, including basing 60 percent of the U.S. fleet in the Pacific by 2020.

    On China, Rice said the U.S. seeks to put into operation a new model of major power relations, "managing inevitable competition while forging deeper cooperation on issues where interests converge in Asia and beyond."

    She said the U.S., however, will hold to certain basic principles. "We will continue to champion respect for the rule of law, human rights, religious freedom and democratic principles. These are the common aspirations that all people share, and we will do this even and especially when it is not the easy or expedient thing to do."

    The need to maintain pressure on North Korea to dismantle its nuclear weapons program, Rice said, is one example of where the U.S. and Chinese interests align.

    North Korea issues

    She said the U.S. is prepared for negotiations, provided they are authentic and credible, and get at the entirety of North Korea's nuclear program. "Pyongyang's attempts to engage in dialogue while keeping critical elements of its weapons program running, are not acceptable and will not succeed."

    Rice said North Korea will face "significant costs" for future provocations, adding that the U.S. will join with partners, especially China, to increase pressure on Pyongyang.

    Rice urged nations involved in East and South China Sea disputes, which she called a "growing threat to regional peace, security and U.S. interests," to increase communication, and reject coercion and aggression.

    On Burma, Rice cited progress such as political reforms and the release of many political prisoners. She said challenges remain, such as overcoming ethnic tensions and violence, but that Washington is hopeful.

    "If progress continues by the end of President Obama's second term we hope to have helped Burma re-establish itself as a regional leader, and as a thriving if nascent, prosperous democracy."

    The U.S. national security adviser said America will continue to support those working for political reform and democracy "from Cambodia to Fiji," and will help nations strengthen institutions and uphold rule of law.

    The White House has issued no further information on Obama's planned return to Asia in April.

    You May Like

    Video Democrats Clinton, Kaine Offer 'Very Different Vision' Than Trump

    In a jab at Trump, Clinton says her team wants to 'build bridges, not walls'; Obama Hails Kaine's record; Trump calls Kaine a 'job-killer'

    Turkey Wants Pakistan to Close Down institutions, Businesses Linked to Gulen

    Thousands of Pakistani students are enrolled in Gulen's commercial network of around two dozen institutions operating in Pakistan for over two decades

    AU Passport A Work in Progress

    Who will get the passport and what the benefits are still need to be worked out

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora