n18
Menu
NEWS|Current Affairs 
   |

US Secretary of State John Kerry will begin a trip this week to China, South Korea, Indonesia and the United Arab Emirates, the State Department said on Sunday, at a time of high tensions in Asia over China's increasingly assertive territorial claims.The trip, which runs from Thursday to 18 February, will be Kerry's fifth visit to Asia since he became secretary of state just over a year ago, and comes before a planned visit by President Barack Obama in April to promote a strategic US "pivot" to the region announced in 2011.Kerry will visit Seoul, Beijing, Jakarta and Abu Dhabi "to meet with senior government officials and address a range of bilateral, regional, and global issues," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement.In Beijing and Seoul, Kerry's talks are expected to focus on an air defense zone China declared last year covering territory also claimed by South Korea and Japan, including uninhabited islands in the East China Sea. He is also expected to discuss concerns about North Korea's nuclear program.Psaki said Kerry would relay to Chinese officials "that the United States is committed to pursuing a positive, cooperative, comprehensive relationship and welcomes the rise of a peaceful and prosperous China that plays a positive role in world affairs."He will also discuss North Korea and highlight the importance of US-China collaboration on climate change and clean energy, Psaki's statement said.During his stop in Seoul, Kerry will discuss North Korea and ways to expand US-South Korean cooperation on regional and global issues, the statement added.In Jakarta, Kerry will co-chair the Joint Commission Meeting under the U.S.-Indonesia Comprehensive Partnership and meet the secretary general of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.While in Abu Dhabi, he will discuss issues of interest to the US-UAE relationship, the State Department said.Kerry has faced criticism for the amount of time he has devoted to peace efforts in the Middle East rather than the rebalancing of military and economic focus toward Asia in reaction to the growing clout of China.Concerns about US commitments to the region were highlighted in October when Obama called off plans to attend two summits in Asia because of a budget crisis at home.Kerry stood in for Obama at those meetings and held talks in Japan involving U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera in which they agreed to modernize the U.S.-Japan defense alliance for the first time in 16 years.Vice President Joe Biden followed up with a visit to Japan, Beijing and Seoul in December, but Kerry will have to work hard to counter a perception among many in Asia that Obama's pivot is more rhetoric than substance.On Friday, Kerry met Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida in Washington and stressed the US commitment to the defense of Japan and stability in the Asia-Pacific region against the backdrop of Chinese territorial claims.He said the United States and Japan were committed to closer security collaboration and reiterated that Washington "neither recognizes nor accepts" an air defense zone China has declared in East China Sea and would not change how it conducts operations there.The United States flew B-52s through the Chinese air defense zone after it was declared last year. U.S. officials have warned that any declaration by Beijing of another such zone in the South China Sea could result in changes to U.S. military deployments in the region.Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei attacked Kerry's remarks on Saturday, saying China's air defense zone was fully in line with international law and norms."We urge the US side to stop making irresponsible remarks so as not to harm regional stability and the China-US relationship," Hong said.Reuters

Downloads | Featured Wallpaper


Ek Paheli Leela

Ex-servicemen to protest nation-wide over slow roll-out of 'One-Rank-One-Pension' scheme

from firstpost

Ex-servicemen to protest nation-wide over slow roll-out of 'One-Rank-One-Pension' scheme

New Delhi/Pune: Aggrieved over the delay in the roll-out of 'One-Rank-One-Pension' for the armed forces, ex-servicemen plan to hold a nation-wide agitation even as1971 war veteran Wing Commander (retd...


Chidambaram takes on Centre for not scrapping retro tax

from firstpost

Chidambaram takes on Centre for not scrapping retro tax

New Delhi: Dismissing the charge of obstructionism in Parliament against Congress, former Finance Minister P Chidambaram today blamed the government for not scrapping retrospective tax and MAT on FIIs...

AFSPA removal a victory for sanity and humanity: Chidambaram hails Tripura decision

from firstpost

AFSPA removal a victory for sanity and humanity: Chidambaram hails Tripura decision

New Delhi: Tripura government's decision to withdraw AFSPA from the state was on Thursdayhailed by former Home Minister P Chidambaram as victory for sanity andhumanity while Hurriyat's moderate factio...

Delhi HC refuses to stay levy of 14% service tax on liquor makers

from firstpost

Delhi HC refuses to stay levy of 14% service tax on liquor makers

New Delhi: Delhi High Court on Thursday refused to stay a government notification which brings into force from June one the levy of 14 per cent service tax on manufacture of alcohol on contractual bas...

Delhi HC refuses to stay levy of 14% service tax on liquor makers

from firstpost

Delhi HC refuses to stay levy of 14% service tax on liquor makers

New Delhi: Delhi High Court on Thursday refused to stay a government notification which brings into force from June one the levy of 14 percent service tax on manufacture of alcohol on contractual basi...

Sunanda Pushkar death case: Delhi Police to receive FBI's viscera report within a month

from firstpost

Sunanda Pushkar death case: Delhi Police to receive FBI's viscera report within a month

New Delhi: Delhi Police are expecting to get former union minister Shashi Tharoor's wife Sunanda Pushkar's viscera report from US-based Federal Bureau of Investigation in the next 15 to 30 days, which...

Rijiju welcomes Tripura decision to lift AFSPA

from firstpost

Rijiju welcomes Tripura decision to lift AFSPA

New Delhi: The Centre on Thursdaywelcomed Tripura government's decision to lift AFSPA saying there was no need for the state government to take the consent of the central government while taking the m...