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US seeks ‘rebalance’ in Asia

Modi inside The Beast with Obama on his visit to Washington.

Modi inside The Beast with Obama on his visit to Washington.
Modi inside The Beast with Obama on his visit to Washington.

By Arun Kumar

┬áCiting President Barack Obama’s historic “good trip” to India in January, US officials have said that different partnerships it’s forging across Asia can contribute to the stability and prosperity of the broader region.

In a conference call on Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s state visit next week, Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes said the US looked at the visit in the context of is broader efforts to rebalance the Asia Pacific region.

“This has been one of our core foreign policy priorities throughout President Obama’s time in office,” he said citing a “historic” climate change agreement with China and an “important” defence agreement with Australia.

Obama also expected to raise the important global issue of climate change “which is very high on his agenda, with Prime Minister Abe,” Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economics, Caroline Atkinson, said.

“We work and have worked very closely with Japan in climate negotiations.”

Recognising its critical role in combating global climate change, the US has been leading the international effort with its domestic as also “the international work partnering with China last year, working also with India, with Mexico,” she said.

“So this visit will provide an opportunity for the two leaders to further their cooperation, and to help build momentum towards a successful and ambitious climate agreement in Paris in December,” Atkinson, said.

“And as we head into Paris, clearly both the United States and Japan will have a leadership role to play in helping to bring about a successful conclusion to those discussions,” Rhodes said

“Similarly, in the context of the broader Asia Pacific, he noted “Obama had a good trip to India earlier this year, an historic visit, as the Chief Guest at Republic Day, where he discussed, obviously, the climate change effort, but also deepening our own relationship and partnership with India in the Asia Pacific.

“This of course is an area that Prime Minister Abe has also discussed with Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi in terms of their collaboration in the region, as well.”

“So many of the different partnerships that we’re forging across the region have been mutually reinforcing, and we believe can contribute to the stability and prosperity of the broader region,” Rhodes said.

US, he said, welcomed the fact “that Japan is looking to play a more constructive role in promoting peace and stability in the broader Asia Pacific region.”

Abe “has pursued deepened cooperation with a number of ASEAN countries just as he’s pursued deeper cooperation with countries like Australia and India,” Rhodes said. “We believe that this is a very welcome step forward for Japan.”

Part of what the United States wants is for our allies to have better relations and our partners to be cooperating, he said as it wants to have “a network of alliances and partnerships that can contribute to a more secure, stable, and prosperous region.”