The rebalancing of the U.S. approach to the region is generally based on three areas of focus.
U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Russel, speaking recently in Washington about U.S. policy for the Asia Pacific region, said that the rebalancing of the U.S approach to the region was generally based on three areas of focus.
“Our five enduring treaty alliances in the Asia Pacific region ... form the foundation of peace and stability. They are grounded in our common commitment to democracy, to the rule of law, human rights, and other values,” he said about the first area of focus.
“The second . . . area of focus . . . is our commitment to institution building,” Assistant Secretary Russel said.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry recently led the U.S. delegation to the ASEAN Regional Forum and the East Asia Summit foreign ministerial. In October, Secretary Kerry and President Obama will travel to Bali, for the APEC first ministerial and summit. Then, in Brunei, President Obama will attend the East Asia Summit and the U.S.-ASEAN Leaders Summit.
Russel indicated that the United States will cooperate closely with these Asian institutions on a range of issues that include education, economic development, energy, climate, maritime security, and connectivity.
“The third element of our strategy has always been engagement with emerging powers, and the most conspicuous of them is China,” Assistant Secretary Russel said. In the recently concluded Strategic and Economic Dialogue between the United States and China, “we discussed regional hotspots –- Iran, North Korea, Syria. ... We discussed nuclear proliferation, climate change, cyberspace, human rights, maritime security, and relations between our two militaries.”
“We are exploring the areas in which cooperation between the U.S. and China, two major economies, can make a positive and practical impact,” Assistant Secretary Russel said. “We are also working hard to develop a candid dialogue on areas of disagreement.”
Assistant Secretary Russel said he came away from the Dialogue with a sense of continued progress.
In closing Assistant Secretary Russel said, “The U.S. is genuinely, thoroughly committed to deepening our regional engagement and deepening our regional partnerships. And you will see continuity of focus from the State Department and the Administration towards East Asia and the Pacific region.”