U.S. has made a deliberate, strategic effort to broaden and deepen engagement in ‘rebalance’ to the Asia-Pacific.”
“The United States is bound to Asia through geography, history, alliances, trade, and people-to-people ties, which will continue to grow in importance over the next decade and beyond,” said Acting Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Joseph Yun.
“The U.S. Government has made a deliberate, strategic effort to broaden and deepen our engagement in the region in what has come to be known as the ‘rebalance’ to the Asia-Pacific.”
The rebalance covers a range of strategic objectives: deepening U.S. alliances in the region; boosting economic growth and trade; strengthening relationships with emerging powers; expanding good governance, democracy, and human rights; shaping a regional architecture; and deterring conflict.
According to Mr. Yun, “While the rebalance reflects the importance the U.S. Government places on our strategic and economic engagement in the Asia-Pacific, the dimension that binds the entire strategy together is our strong support for advancing democracy and human rights.”
Mr. Yun added, “Democracy and human rights give people the chance to live with dignity and to achieve a better future. Good governance is critical to reducing poverty, building rule of law, and allowing for open discussion of ideas in civil society. Strong democratic institutions increase transparency and ethics, which help to combat corruption.”
“Democracies give people a way to devote energy to productive political and civic engagement and reduce the allure of extremism. And open societies offer more opportunities for economic, educational, cultural, religious, and people-to-people exchanges, which are part of the foundation for peace,” Mr. Yun continued.
“It is for these reasons that the U.S. Government places so much importance on democracy and human rights and works with governments, civil society activists, journalists, and human rights organizations around the world. It is not only the right thing to do; it is also the strategically smart thing to do.”
“We recognize that much of the history of the 21st century will be written in Asia,” Mr. Yun said in conclusion. “We are working to ensure that it is a century in which economies grow, conflicts are avoided, and security is strengthened. Supporting democracy and human rights across the region will be a central component of our efforts.”