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 and is national security correspondent. You can follow Jeff on Twitter at @jseldin or on Google Plus.

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants 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.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs