News / Asia

US Touts Asia Rebalance to ASEAN

US Touts Asia Rebalance to ASEANi
|| 0:00:00
...  
🔇
X
April 04, 2014 7:58 PM
U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is wrapping up meetings in Hawaii with counterparts from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The trip will next take him to Japan, China and Mongolia for a tour the U.S. says shows its ongoing commitment to the so-called "Asia pivot." VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
US Touts Asia Rebalance to ASEAN
U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is wrapping up meetings in Hawaii with counterparts from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).  The trip will next take him to Japan, China and Mongolia for a tour the U.S. says shows its ongoing commitment to the so-called "Asia pivot." 

With Honolulu and U.S. military might as a backdrop, Hagel has been doing his best to sell his vision of America's role as a Pacific power.

"This gathering was an important milestone in America’s growing engagement of the ASEAN nations," he said. "This trip and the ASEAN-U.S. forum shows America’s rebalance to Asia Pacific remains a critical part of our national security strategy.”

For now, the focus is on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.  The U.S. contributed ships, planes and other technology to help search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, and helped with recovery efforts in the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan, delivering food, water, medicine and blankets to devastated parts of the coastline.

Trip to focus on many issues

From Hawaii, Hagel heads to Japan, home to about 20,000 U.S. Marines and America's largest overseas airfields, for talks on Washington’s evolving partnership with Japan’s defense forces.  

There the focus will likely shift to North Korea, where leader Kim Jong Un has been rallying troops and rattling regional nerves.

This week, Pyongyang tested missiles and launched artillery rounds into South Korean waters, something the U.S. defense secretary has promised to bring up when he meets with Chinese officials in Beijing.

Pivot's impact on China

And then there’s the question of the Asian pivot’s impact on China, which is growing its military and making ever-bolder territorial claims.
 
“From the Chinese perspective unfortunately anything that anybody does on its periphery is seen as against China," said Patrick Cronin at Center for a New American Security.
 
Hagel says Chinese fears are over-blown.
 
"We are competitors.  We disagree in areas but we’re certainly not enemies.  We’re doing a lot of things together were we can find some common interest," he said.
 
But China is likely to remain suspicious. 

"That’s the million dollar question.  Is it about containment or is that a very kind of a Cold War idea?  Does China need containing in the same way the Soviet Union needed containing?  Probably not is the general answer,” said  James Hardy from IHS Jane’s Defense Weekly.

But with regional stability a key to the global economy, U.S. defense officials say there is no choice but to “rebalance” military resources and capabilities to the region.

Jeff Seldin

Jeff works out of VOA’s Washington headquarters covering a wide variety of subjects, from the nature of the growing terror threat in Northern Africa to China’s crackdown on Tibet and the struggle over immigration reform in the United States. You can follow Jeff on Twitter at @jseldin or on Google Plus.

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

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.
Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regreti
X
Zana Omer
March 28, 2015 1:19 AM
Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Virginia Tavern Takes Patrons Back to Medieval Times

European martial arts are not widely practiced and are unknown by most people. A tavern in Old Town Alexandria, outside Washington, wants to change this by promoting these fighting techniques from medieval times. Through combining visual arts, martial arts and culinary arts, this tavern brings medieval history back to life. VOA's Yang Lin and Helen Wu report.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More