Speaker: Christopher R. Hill, former US Assistant Secertary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs
Date: February 7 2012
Realists tend to view the American 'pivot' back to the Asia Pacific as a move reminiscent of a cold war-style structural rebalancing of power. That's not the case, according to Christopher R. Hill, former US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs. There may be recognizable patterns in US foreign policy behavior, but by no means is it predicated by some sort of 'grand design'.
Long-term interests of the US will be in the Asia Pacific and the Obama Administration knows it, states Mr. Hill, The pivot to the East signifies an effort by the administration to renew its relationships in the Asia Pacific — some of them old, some of them new. None of its actions are directed at any particular country.
Mr. Hill hopes that the renewed attention to Asia will lead to renewed dialogue with China. This will help avoid strategic mistrust and misunderstanding that will be counterproductive to both countries. He urges the dialogues to be maintained across the board, even when difficult moments arise and interests clash. The Sino-American partnership is simply too big to fail.
In this interview, Mr. Hill talks about APEC, the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and offers words of wisdom for fledgling young diplomats of the future.