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Q&A Beattie / Thayer / Hornung / President Obama / Asia Trip


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President Obama Leaves Washington Today On His Fifth Trip To Asia With Stops In Japan, South Korea, Malaysia And The Philippines Making Up For Having Postponed A Visit In October Because Of A Budgetary Dispute That Forced A Government Shutdown. The Eight-Day Trip Will Include Mr. Obama's First State Visit To Seoul Since President Park Geun-Hye Took Office, The First To Malaysia By An American President Since Lyndon Johnson In The 1960's, And A Reaffirmation Of Washington's Security Agreement With Manila. Mr. Obama's National Security Adviser, Susan Rice, Says While Security Issues Will Be A Big Part Of The Trip, Advancing The Momentum In The 12-Nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Free-Trade Pact Negotiations Is Viewed As A Key Component Of The Obama Administration's Rebalance Toward The Asia-Pacfic Region .... (Rice / Act)  On The Eve Of Mr. Obama's Trip, US Senator Roger Wicker, In A Broadcast Interview With CNBC Expressed Doubt Such An Agreement Will Be Reached Soon. He Says Not Only Are Japanese Industries, Such As Agriculture, Autos And Insurance Opposed To Foreign Competition, But Lawmakers Of Mr. Obama's Democratic Party In Congress Oppose Granting The President Trade Promotion Authority To Make It Easier To Approve Such Pacts. Three Of The Countries On Mr. Obama's Intinerary Have Territorial Disputes With China. The President's Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes Was Asked How Mr. Obama Can Assure China A New Security Agreement With The Philippines Is Not Viewed In Beijing As A Containment Tool ... (Rhodes / Act) China's State-Run People's Daily Says The Tricky Part Of The Trip Is To Soothe US Allies In Asia, While Avoiding Stoking Tensions With Chna. Carl Thayer, Professor Emeritus At The University Of New South Wales, Who Now Runs His Own Consultancy, Was Asked By VOA's Victor Beattie What Ties These Four Nations Together ... (Q&A Beattie / Thayer) ... Thayer says The Keys To A Successful Trip Are That Mr. Obama Is Able To Walk A Fine Line Between Not Antagonizing China, While Underscoring The Positive Role Washington Can Play In Regional Security. Jeffrey Hornung, An East Asia Security Expert At The Hawaii-Based Asia-Pacific Center For Security Studies, Says It Is Important For The President To Scale Back The Rebalance Rhetoric And Focus On Alliance Management Among Allies Japan, South Korea And The Philippines. He Says That Includes OPCON, The Transfer Of Wartime Opertional Command To South By 2015, A Position The United States Has Held Since 1963 Armistice Ending The Korean Conflict .... (Q&A Beattie / Hornung) ... Hornung Says The Key To A Successful Trip Is An Easing Of Anxieties Among Washington's Traditional Allies About The US Committment To The Region.  

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