Foreign Policy

President Obama wrapped up his four Asian nation trip last week, which was an effort to promote America’s “rebalance” to the region. Viewed by many in the region as unsuccessful, the trip did not put the fears of the allies at rest, and may actually prove to be inflammatory to the region if the US continues to contain a rising China.

President Barack Obama’s recent trip redefined the United States as “an Asia Pacific nation” that seeks to reassert its leadership in the region. The rhetoric as well as defense pacts with nations like the Philippines demonstrates the pivot towards the Asia Pacific and the revival of “Manifest Destiny” throughout the Asia-Pacific that seeks to not cooperate, but dominate the region.


At the conclusion of President Obama’s four country tour, US foreign policy in the Asia-Pacific seemingly remains unchanged. Promoted as an attempt to bolster relations with allies, many saw the trip as lackluster and devoid of results. While the Obama administration will tout the visit’s success, Mel Gurtov expresses his hope for a more innovative approach in the future.


President Barack Obama’s recent trip to meet with Asian allies was an attempt to reassure allies that they still have US support. In particular, President Obama’s rhetoric regarding the Diaoyu Islands has been seen as inflammatory for the region, however, his statements were simply lip service to Japan in exchange for economic concessions.

The US and Philippines have developed a close military relationship in recent years that the Chinese fear is an attempt to entrap or counter their influence in the region. Recent aggressive moves by the Philippines over territorial disputes have caused China to fear that this relationship will cause greater tensions in the region, and between the US and China.

President Obama’s trip to Asia is an important event in the administration’s “pivot” or “rebalancing” to Asia. While the pivot may be difficult, all sectors of American and Asian society will be integral in developing the bond that will make this rebalancing successful.

U.S. Secretary Hagel’s China visit and President Obama’s trip to Asia illustrate the almost impossible balancing act of American Foreign Policy in the region of assuring the United States’ Asian allies that America will stand by them in a future conflict with China, while simultaneously mollifying Chinese fears of U.S. containment and precluding a deepening of Sino-Russian ties.

China has always valued military secrecy, however Richard Weitz explains that in recent years China has advanced in terms of transparency and the importance of clear communication between China and the U.S.

US and China are engaging Latin America in different ways. While the US is attempting to rebuild relationships that have been strained recently, China has engaged in economic activities with countries in the region. Although China has invested heavily and is influential in the region, it has not led to increased tensions or competition between China and the US.


Wu Zurong urges President Obama to encourage Japan to refrain from its path of reviving militarism and instead to seek solutions through peaceful negotiations.

A major trend accompanying the multi-polarization of the international political economy is the eastward shift of the world’s economic and political gravity center, from the two sides of the Atlantic to the Asia-Pacific, writes Cui Liru.

The just concluded visit of US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel to China may send a signal that developing a new type of major power relationship is not a near-term possibility. The zero-sum Cold War mentality of Washington elites, together with present-day alliance structures, may prove an insurmountable barrier, writes Clifford A. Kiracofe.

What’s on President Barack Obama’s agenda in Asia? As U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel’s trip to the Asia-Pacific comes to a close, Mel Gurtov turns his attention to Obama-s four-country trip at the end of April and highlights its significance for US alliance politics in Asia.

Following issues in Crimea, the topic of “core national interests” continues to emerge as a critical point in geopolitics. As Stephen Harner explains, it is necessary for the United States to follow China’s lead and define its own core interests. By eliminating any uncertainty over national priorities, both nations can continue seeking “A New Type of Great Power Relations.”

Against the background of building a new type of great power relationship, Secretary Chuck Hagel’s visit to China will push the China-US military relationship to a higher level, writes Zhao Xiaozhuo.

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