USA, Asia & ASEAN Cooperation and Challenges in Security and Defense

The USA is serious about the Asia Pivot, but most diplomats says, the USA is trying to find the “Right Implementation Tone.” The following is the extracts of the speech by USA’s Acting Assistant Secretary, Joseph Yun. The Statement was before the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on East Asian and Pacific Affairs (Source).

  •  With regards to Asia:

Asia’s future stability and security are linked to its prosperity and economic development. We are boosting U.S. trade in the region, increasing investment flows, and deepening economic integration, all of which will benefit U.S. businesses and help create jobs here at home, while also creating improved and more inclusive development outcomes in the region itself. Inward investment accounts for over two million American manufacturing jobs, a number we are working to increase. Similarly, exports generate over 10 million jobs for American workers. Asia’s prosperity is America’s prosperity, and we will continue our work to secure markets for U.S. goods and services and welcome tourists, students, and investors to our shores. Establishment of the he Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement with 11 partners will be one of the cornerstones of our “rebalance” toward the Asia-Pacific. Our promotion, through the TPP, APEC and elsewhere, of a regional economic architecture in which the rules are open, transparent, free, and fair helps U.S. businesses gain access to this dynamic region and further integrate the regional economy under a set of high-standard trade and investment rules. Meanwhile, State Department missions in the field are stepping up their commercial promotion efforts to supplement the Commerce Department’s mission to promote exports, tourism, education, and investment opportunities within the United States.

  •  With regards to ASEAN:

We are also engaging with an emerging and growing regional architecture of robust regional institutions and multilateral agreements that result in a more positive political and economic environment for the United States and strengthen regional stability, security, and economic growth. Multilateral institutions are positioning themselves to better handle territorial and maritime disputes such as in the South China Sea. Through engagement with multilateral structures such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), we are able to encourage a peaceful resolution of contentious transnational issues and discourage escalation of tensions.

Our force posture initiative with Australia, another close ally, supports a more flexible and resilient capability to respond to contingencies across the region and globally. Our Defense Strategic Talks with Thailand have yielded a new Joint Vision Statement that is a blueprint for our 21st century security partnership and a reflection of Thailand’s key role in our rebalance to the Asia-Pacific. Given the strategic importance and collective significance of Southeast Asia and the Pacific, we have increased our military engagement with Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands. The U.S. Pacific Fleet’s Pacific Partnership program brings the best of our and our partners’ military expertise and capabilities to multiple Pacific Island countries to help meet critical infrastructure, water, sanitation, and health challenges.

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