AP File PHOTO/ CAROLYN KASTER
Obama's Coming Trip Shows US Refocus on Asia Pacific
The three-nation Asia trip by the US President Barack Obama is part of his effort to refocus in the most “rapidly growing and dynamic” region of the world, the White House has said.

“The President’s trip to Asia will be an opportunity to build on our successful efforts to refocus on the Asia Pacific as the most rapidly growing and dynamic region in the world,” the White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters at a news conference yesterday.

Later this month, Mr. Obama would travel to Thailand, Cambodia and Burma. Simultaneously, the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and the Defence Secretary Leon Panetta would also be in the region; which is reflective of the importance being attached to the Asia Pacific region by the Obama Administration.

“And as he (Obama) did last year, the President will focus on expanding US trade and economic ties in the region, supporting democracy and human rights, and working through regional institutions to ensure that nations abide by the rules of the road,” he said.

“Now, you know, as part of his broader agenda, the President has focused on expanding our presence in Asia. The positive economic impact of doing that will be felt for years to come and is elemental to the kind of economic growth that this President foresees for the American economy in the 21st century. So this is important work that needs to be done,” Mr. Carney said.

During the visit, the US President would participate in the East Asia Summit and a meeting with the Association of the Southeast Nations.

Under the Obama Administration, the United States has made a major shift towards Asia, the Asia-Pacific region in general, which has been articulated by him and his officials several times in the last one year.

“For the United States, this reflects a broader shift. After a decade in which we fought two wars that cost us dearly, in blood and treasure, the United States is turning our attention to the vast potential of the Asia Pacific region,” Mr. Obama said during his trip to Australia last November.

The new focus on this region reflects a fundamental truth that the United States has been, and always will be, a Pacific nation, he said.

“Asian immigrants helped build America, and millions of American families, including my own, cherish our ties to this region. From the bombing of Darwin to the liberation of Pacific islands, from the rice paddies of Southeast Asia to a cold Korean Peninsula, generations of Americans have served here, and died here so democracies could take root; so economic miracles could lift hundreds of millions to prosperity,” Mr. Obama said.

“Here, we see the future. As the world’s fastest-growing region and home to more than half the global economy the Asia Pacific is critical to achieving my highest priority, and that’s creating jobs and opportunity for the American people,” the US President said.

With most of the world’s nuclear power and some half of humanity, Asia will largely define whether the century ahead will be marked by conflict or cooperation, needless suffering or human progress, Mr.Obama said during his Australia trip.

“As President, I have, therefore, made a deliberate and strategic decision as a Pacific nation, the United States will play a larger and long-term role in shaping this region and its future, by upholding core principles and in close partnership with our allies and friends,” he said.

Keywords: Barack Obama, Asia trip, global economy, job opportunities, Asia Pacific region, American economy
Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
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