21 April 2014
Five years after refashioning US foreign policy to emphasize Asia, President Barack Obama will face questions over his strategy’s content and staying power in the region this week.
Obama will counter the impression that events, including carnage in Syria and the East-West showdown over Ukraine have dragged his administration’s attention elsewhere.
He will argue in Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and the Philippines that the “rebalancing” policy — of withdrawing US military, economic and human resources from Middle East wars and deploying them to emerging Asia — remains on track.
… “The US needs to first and foremost clearly define what ‘pivoting’ or ‘rebalancing’ exactly means, especially in the current high-tension environment in East Asia,” said Oh Ei Sun, an international relations specialist at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
“Is pivoting just a military and security issue, in which case it may be gaining traction regionally due to China’s increasingly strident posture, or is it something more, entailing an economic dimension as well?”
IDSS / RSIS / Online
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