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

Video Drug Use Rises in Afghanistan

Ninety percent of world’s heroin comes from Afghanistan More

Here's Your Chance to Live in a Deserted Shopping Mall

About one-third of the 1200 enclosed malls in the US are dead or dying. Here's what's being done with them. More

Video NASA: Big Antarctica Ice Shelf Is Disintegrating

US space agency’s new study indicates Larsen B shelf could break up in just a few years 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.
Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriagei
X
May 21, 2015 4:14 AM
The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.
Video

Video Women to March for Peace Between Koreas

Prominent female activists from around the world plan to march through the demilitarized zone dividing North and South Korea to call for peace between the two neighbors, divided for more than 60 years. The event, taking place May 24, marks the International Women's Day for Peace and Disarmament and has been approved by both Koreas. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug Use Rises in Afghanistan Following Record High Poppy Crops

Afghanistan has seen record high poppy crops during the last few years - and the result has been an alarming rise in illegal drug use and addiction in the war-torn country. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem has this report from Kabul.
Video

Video America’s Front Lawn Gets Overhaul

America’s front yard is getting a much-needed overhaul. Almost two kilometers of lawn stretch from the U.S. Capitol to the Washington Monument. But the expanse of grass known as the National Mall has taken a beating over the years. Now workers are in the middle of restoring the lush, green carpet that fronts some of Washington’s best-known sights. VOA’s Steve Baragona took a look.

VOA Blogs