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

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Video Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus 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.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid