US can’t afford not to be in the Asia-Pacific

State Assistant Secretary Daniel Russel, Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs said United States will continue presence in Asia-Pacific as a Pacific power.

“We can’t afford not to be in the Asia-Pacific. That’s why President Obama decided, before he even took office, to institute a long-term, strategic emphasis on the region. And I’m confident that strategy will extend far beyond his presidency, because we have strong bipartisan support for it – both parties understand the importance of Asia,” Daniel Russel said.

Russel said that tension in South China Sea is dangerous. He then said US urges “China and the other claimants to have a conversation about what activities are acceptable to each of them — both to help reduce tensions now, and manage differences in the long run.”

Daniel Russel also highlighted US-PH relationship. “Our ally the Philippines is a stable democracy with strong economic growth. We completed an enhanced defense cooperation agreement during President Obama’s visit in April, which enables us to better address common security challenges and provide relief for disasters, such as Typhoon Haiyan.”

The Assistant Secretary added that growth of ASEAN is US’ national interest.

“A stable Southeast Asia that meets the aspirations of its people – for economic growth, clean air and water, education, and a voice in how they’re governed – is in America’s national interest. And one of the best, most efficient ways for America to help the region meet its aspirations is by investing in ASEAN.”

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