Rice lays out US Asia-Pacific agenda

Updated: 2013-11-21 10:52

By CHEN JIA in San Francisco (China Daily USA)

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White House National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice announced on Wednesday that President Barack Obama is preparing for a visit to Asia this spring.

"I am pleased to announce today that President Obama will return to Asia this coming April to continue strengthening our ties across the region," she said in a speech at Georgetown University in Washington DC on Wednesday. She revealed no details of the itinerary.

In her remarks — entitled America's Future in Asia — Rice outlined the future of US policies toward the Asia-Pacific region and highlighted important relations with emerging economies like China.

Because of the Federal Government shut-down, Obama had to cancel a trip to Asia in October, she said. However, it will not affect Vice-President Biden's planned visit to China, Japan and South Korea in early December.

As for the US strategy to diversify the network of security relationships in the Asia-Pacific region, Rice said "when it comes to China, we see a new model of major power relations".

"That means managing inevitable competition while forging deeper cooperation on issues where our interests converge," she said.

In Asia and beyond, we both seek the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, a stable and secure Afghanistan and an end to conflict in Sudan, she said.

She also noted the US is "improving the quality of our military-to-military relationship with China".

"Greater military engagement and transparency can help us to manage the realities of mistrusts and competition," she said.

Last week, a joint drill was held at Bellows Air Force Station on the island of Oahu, in which Chinese and US troops cooperated in earthquake disaster relief drills. It was the first time the Chinese military had taken part in joint exercises on US soil.

Earlier this year, Chinese President Xi Jinping said the two countries should strengthen military-to-military relations and promote a new model of relationship during a summit with Obama at Sunnyvale, California.

On Wednesday, Rice also pointed out that China was playing an important role in the process that "transforms economic relations with the (Asian-Pacific) region through dramatically increased US exports, (and) the implementation of the most ambitious American free trade agreement in decades".

In a move to pursue sustained global growth, the US was aiming for "closer cooperation" with China, India and other emerging economies, she said.

Last week, China's leaders announced plans for sweeping reforms that, if realized, could go a long way towards leveling the playing field for private foreign investors, and moving China's economy towards market principles, she said.

"The United States sees the economic relationship with China in the years ahead as an opportunity we must seize," she added.

Contact the writer at chenjia@chinadailyusa.com