Obama 2.0 Confronts Asia

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President Barack Obama begins his second term with a new national security team in the making. Although at this time only John Kerry has been confirmed, its seem likely that most, if not all of his key nominees (former Senator Chuck Hagel, John Brennan and Jack Lew) will secure Senate confirmation in the coming weeks.

Obama has clearly resolved to make Asia his priority region on the foreign-policy front. He has spent more time in East Asia than in any other foreign region. Most Asian leaders have welcomed Obama’s reelection, though the political transitions in China, Japan and South Korea increase uncertainties over how long such views will prevail.

During its first term, the Obama administration managed to make progress in resolving some important issues and exploiting valuable opportunities regarding both traditional U.S. allies (such as Japan and South Korea) and emerging partners (ASEAN). In other cases, as with Russia and India, the results have been mixed. But during the next four years the administration faces major challenges in Afghanistan, Iran, North Korea, and above all China—for which no easy solutions are available.

The Pentagon has been able to expand defense cooperation with Southeast Asia, especially Singapore (preparations are currently underway for the basing of U.S. Navy Littoral Combat Ships at Changi Pier), Indonesia (new arms sales and joint training and education opportunities), and Vietnam (expanding engagement to encompass port visits, joint exercises, and defense dialogues).

Another core element of the Asia Pivot is bolstering local militaries’ capacities to deal with lower-level threats. For example, the Obama administration wants to enhance the air and naval capabilities of friendly maritime states so that they can help protect international waterways from pirates and other threats to freedom of the seas, allowing the U.S. Navy to focus on higher-end threats. To further this goal, the United States is selling 24 F-16C/Ds to Indonesia and coastal ships to the Philippines. Similarly, the United States is helping countries build stronger ground forces to suppress local terrorists and insurgents. Border security programs also extend to encompass the potential movement of nuclear and other dangerous materials to global markets. All these capabilities promote the security of the international air and maritime commons, which serve as the foundation of the global economy.

The Obama administration launched a sustained and largely successful diplomatic campaign to reenergize U.S. relations with ASEAN leaders, who complained that they were being neglected under the previous administration. Obama’s decision to accede to ASEAN’s Treaty of Amity and Cooperation was received very positively by ASEAN leaders, who also benefited from regular meetings with their U.S. counterparts. They also welcomed the administration’s successful outreach effort regarding Myanmar.     

Economic ties between ASEAN and the United States made major progress when, in November 2012, Obama hosted talks on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) initiative at meetings of the East Asia Summit and ASEAN in Cambodia. They set October 2013 as the date when they would like to reach an agreement creating a comprehensive regional trade agreement.

Comments
72

[...] Link: http://thediplomat.com/2013/02/21/obama-2-0-confronts-asia/ [...]

a_canadian_observer
February 27, 2013 at 02:01

Actually I thnk these are some well known chinese products:

1. Tiananmen square massacre,

2. Physical and culture genocide in Tibet and Xinjiang,

3. Melanine-mixed milk for children,

4. Fake rice, fake eggs, gutter-recycled cooking oil,

5. Scheduled killing of prisoners to sale their organs

Just to name a few.

Kim's Uncle
February 26, 2013 at 02:51

@ red chinese dudes,

Go to any bookstores in the Western world or modern Asia and peruse the business shelf, and there you will find no books regarding Chinese companies or Chinese CEOs EVER!!!  That's the impact and influence of Chinese capitalism in the Western world!!  Additionally, go to any US business schools and there you will find not one Chinese company cited as a case model to study!  That's just the truth.  Mature economies do not rely on sub-contracting work by importing components from advanced countries to assemble products for re-export!  That is China.  I just wanted to educate you on your real China!  Like I said before, a developing country can grow tremendously from starting from rock bottom.  But that does not mean it can continue to grow once it achieve a certain level.  Western mature economy grow by creating and inventing things.  It also grow by productivity by improving and innovating processes.  That's not the case in China.  All those companies from China you listed are a joke in the West!       

Bankotsu
February 25, 2013 at 14:08

"No Henry Ford, William buffet, bill gates, Larry Ellison, Steve jobs, jeff bezos, etc.??? Just one? How feeble of China!"

But what is the use of these things if the economy is in decline?

Cyrus
February 25, 2013 at 06:29

Really? Hundred of Thousands with drones? where did you get that? Oh, btw I believe more has died in the hands of the Chinese Empire from Qin to the present CCP.

Cyrus
February 25, 2013 at 04:03

Yes to be fair those are well known brands.

Kim's Uncle
February 24, 2013 at 10:15

@ red Chinese dudes, still can’t name one Chinese entrepreneur/business tycoon that has created a business from scratch and built into an empire that is highly respected by the world’s consuming audience? No Henry Ford, William buffet, bill gates, Larry Ellison, Steve jobs, jeff bezos, etc.??? Just one? How feeble of China !

Dean
February 24, 2013 at 03:47

By stealing their IPs or forcing their technological transfers, by pursuing a self-interest  mercantilist economic policy: currency manipulation, export subsidy for unfair access to foreign markets, protectionist high tariffs for blocking  foreign exports into chinese market,  suppressing domestic consumption, & business discrimination in favor of chinese local companies, etc. This is what you called ' the art of business'? Shame on you, vic. The world calls it ' the art of big swindle of the global con, China'!

John Chan
February 24, 2013 at 02:31

@Kim,

Whenever you are provided with answers; you and the anti-China clique simply dismissed the answers offhand and used the opportunity to bash China more. You are not here to debate, but to discharge your hatred against China for whatever your personal reasons. Unless you can rein in your emotion and behave, you will be not be taken seriously.

John Chan
February 24, 2013 at 02:19

@Observer,

Coke = vanguard of American imperialism that uses thugs to bust unions fighting for reasonable salary.

Being = death merchant, part of the American MIC that makes profits on the misery of humanity.

Google = peeking Tom and CIA henchman that destroy privacy of human rights and liberty.

Exxon = environment destroyer

HP = dying dinosaur

Nike = label only, living on the blood and sweat of developing nations

Intel = a passé technology mammoth drowning in the sea of mobile technologies.

Bottom line = past glory cannot guarantee future success. Band name is a good will and a virtue reality, living in virtue reality is delusion.

coffeechamp
February 24, 2013 at 00:13

China will self-destruct soon because socio-economic disparity thanks to a fake communist regime hell bent on corruption. War is their only way to keep the country united. As for the US, stop outsourcing to china. Seriously, the quality sucks. Bring back at least 50% of manufacturing to home soil and outsource the rest to your allies.

ashleyhk
February 23, 2013 at 23:39

Jack Ma??

Great guy and awesome company

 

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