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.
TEXT SIZE - +
— 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

Analysts Warn of Regional Proxy Conflict in Afghanistan

Analysts warn if Kabul’s neighbors do not start to cooperate, competing desires for influence could deteriorate into a bloody proxy war in the country More

Saudi Intelligence Chief Replaced

Bandar bin Sultan came under criticism for supporting al Qaida, prompting King Abdallah to wrest Syria operations away from him in February, handing them to Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef More

Poetry Magazine editor Don Share talks what makes a good poem with VOA's David Byrd

What makes a good poem? And is poetry as viable an art form as it once was? To find out, VOA's David Byrd spoke to Don Share, the editor of Poetry Magazine. More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid