US-Asia Relations: Past and Future
“Nowhere in the world are the economics and strategic interest and the opportunities of the US clearer or more compelling than in the Asia-Pacific [region],“ said keynote speaker Antony Blinken at the 2017 Johns Hopkins SAIS Asia Conference. Blinken shared his view on the "rebalancing" to Asia by the United States. Expecting Asia to help define the next century, Blinken stated that by what rules, by which means, and to what ends Asia acts are the vital questions for US foreign policy. The US should ensure the energy, focus, and resources devoted to the region are commensurate with its importance, Blinken argued.
Examples of rebalancing actions include deeper cooperation with China, increasing engagement with institutions of the region like Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), and vigorous promotion of trade and investment to unlock shared prosperity.
North Korea's nuclear weapons and rapidly developing missile systems are threats that belong among the Trump administration's top priorities, Blinken said. He urged international cooperation to pressure the North Korean regime to accept a monitored freeze and rollback of its nuclear weapons program.
Lastly, Blinken reminded the audience of what constantly attracts people of other countries to the US: the culture of innovation, the unwavering belief in freedom, rights, and dignity of all human beings, the rich tradition of scholarship and research, and the acknowledging of the common set of ideals to form a strong union. The US cannot afford to compromise these values in the future, Blinken said.
Antony Blinken, Herter/Nitze Distinguished Scholar, former United States Deputy Secretary of State and former Deputy National Security Advisor