Shifting Powers: Clinton Heads For Asia

by Caela

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton changed US’ diplomatic tradition by heading across the Pacific instead of the Atlantic when it has been customary for the Secretary of State of new US governments to make the first overseas trip to Europe. A reflection to the fact that Asia, specially China is becoming increasingly important to the United States. According to Clinton, America’s relation to the Pacific are “indispensable to addressing the challenges and seizing the opportunities of the 21st century.”

Watch the CNN report on Clinton’s Asia visit >>

As her first country to visit, it seems that US wishes to send re-affirmation of the importance of the US-Japanese relationship as their relation had been neglected by the previous administration particularly in the last 2 years. This might also be a gesture of reassurance since the Japan might think that the US’ new and broader relation with China might lead them to a disadvantage.

In her visit to Japan, security is one of her agendas which, of course, in the region meant North Korea.  Clinton warned that a possible North Korean missile launch “would be very unhelpful in moving our relationship forward.” She also said that there is a possibility that the relationship between the U.S. and North Korea could improve if North Korea abides by the obligations that it has already entered into and verifiably and completely eliminates its nuclear program.

She is also scheduled to visit China, South Korea and Indonesia to discuss a range of issues, including mutual economic recovery, trade, the prevention of nuclear weapons proliferation and reversing global warning.

Clinton added: “I chose to go to Asia deliberately in order to send that message that we are reaching out. We do see Asia as part of America’s future.”

The Obama administration wishes to stregthen its ties with Asia particularly with China. Clearly, the current economic situation would be the front and center of the visit but also to look for areas where US and China could cooperate. Clinton did signal that human rights, Tibet and similar concerns will also be in the agenda. The Obama administration is also talking about puting the relationship on top priority and on a different and more broader footing and one of the key concerns here is whether the two countries can cooperate on issues like climate change, global warming and other sorts of transnational chalenges.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: