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Looking Back At U.S. Asia-Pacific Rebalance


U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Bali, Indonesia. (Oct. 5, 2013)

President Barack Obama has been clear that his Administration considers a strong relationship with the Asia-Pacific region to be a top priority of the United States.

From early in his first term, President Barack Obama has been clear that his Administration considers a strong relationship with the Asia-Pacific region to be a top priority of the United States.


The United States is a Pacific Rim country and the security and prosperity of the United States are therefore inextricably linked to the peaceful development of the Asia-Pacific region. Over four years ago, the Obama Administration initiated intense diplomatic engagement with the governments and people of the Asia-Pacific region, working to strengthen old alliances, create new ones and pursuing shared interests in an all-out effort to expand the relationship between the two regions. Secretary of State John Kerry continues to advance this strategy of rebalance.

“The United States is using its full complement of political, diplomatic and economic tools to advance our values and interests in this dynamic region,” Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Russel recently wrote in the Huffington Post. “That helps explain why our partnership with Australia, Japan and the Republic of Korea are in such good shape. That helps explain unprecedented Chinese cooperation on critical issues like North Korea, Iran and climate change. And, judging by the results of his recent visit to Hanoi and Manila, this approach is paying dividends that will benefit both the U.S. and the region through greater economic growth, security cooperation, expanded educational and people-to-people ties, and progress on governance and human rights. With our allies and emerging partners, our engagement is growing every day,” wrote Assistant Secretary Russel.

“The United States is committed to expanding the ranks of stable, democratic and prosperous nations in the Asia-Pacific region. We can play a vital role in promoting education, security and opportunity with our partners, providing greater freedom for potentially hundreds of millions of people in the Asia-Pacific region. By expanding free trade and economic growth with our Asia-Pacific partners, we can create a shared prosperity that benefits us all.”
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