US focus on economic relations with Asia during Obama's visit
Washington: US President Barack Obama's fifth visit to Asian countries next week will have priorities in accessing of new markets, promoting exports, protecting the security interests and promoting the core values with those counties, a top national security advisor has said.
"Over the next five years, nearly half of all growth outside the United States is expected to come from Asia. Moreover, it is a region that includes several important US allies, developing democracies, and emerging powers. So we increasingly see our top priorities as tied to Asia, whether it is accessing new markets or promoting exports, or protecting our security interests and promoting our core values," US National Security Advisor, Susan Rice, told reporters at a White House news conference.
Obama will visit the Asian countries of Malaysia, Philippines, Japan and South Korea which intersects with America's leading priorities.
"These are modernizing our alliances, supporting democratic development, advancing TPP and commercial ties, investing in regional institutions like ASEAN, and deepening cultural and people-to-people exchanges," she said.
"Unlike many of Obama's overseas trips particular to Asia, there are no large summits involved, so the agenda in each country can focus intensively on energizing the bilateral relationships and advancing the different elements of its Asia strategy," Rice said.
"And at a time of ongoing regional tensions, particularly with regard to North Korea and territorial disputes, the trip offers a chance for the United States to affirm American commitment to a rules-based order in the region," she said.
The first stop is Japan, followed by South Korea, Malaysia and the Philippines.
"There is a significant demand for US leadership in that region, and our strategy of rebalancing to Asia includes economic, political, security and cultural interests in Northeast and Southeast Asia. The different components of our strategy will be on display throughout the trip," she said.
"No other nation other than the United States has a network of alliances and partnerships in Asia that match ours. And our alliances remain the foundation of our strategy. We are focused on modernizing these alliances to make them more relevant to the 21st century and to our security challenges, while building them into platforms for cooperation on regional and global challenges," she added.
"Given its rapid economic growth and political clout, Southeast Asia has been another cornerstone of our strategy. And the President's historic visit to Malaysia, the first since Lyndon Baines Johnson, as well as to the Philippines, will advance our engagement with this critical region.
"Expanding American trade and investment links with Asia is also fundamental to our efforts to access new markets, create American jobs, export more goods from here in the United States to that very important region," Rice said.
During the trip, Obama will update the progress of his recent trilateral meeting with Japan and Korea in The Hague, as they seek to advance trilateral defense cooperation more broadly.
"It will allow us to reaffirm our commitment to the peaceful resolution of maritime and territorial disputes consistent with international law. It will allow us to underscore our commitment to help respond to humanitarian and other disasters," Rice said.
Rice also said America's Asian partners frequently look to the United States as a partner of first choice given its significant and unique capabilities, and it's technical expertise.