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


Baaghi

Fishermen body urges Jayalalithaa to seek Centre's intervention to end dispute

from firstpost

Fishermen body urges Jayalalithaa to seek Centre's intervention to end dispute

Rameswaram (TN): Condemning the arrest of seven Indian fishermen by Sri Lankan Navy near Katchatheevu, a fishermen body urged Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Wednesday to seek Centre's inter...


Finmeccanica Threatens to Reconsider Ongoing Projects in India

from ibn

Finmeccanica Threatens to Reconsider Ongoing Projects in India

New Delhi: Stung by India initiating process of blacklisting it, VVIP chopper scam-tainted Italy's Finmeccanica has warned that it may "assess" its ongoing projects of supplying components and essenti...

North Korea's media praises 'wise' Donald Trump for comments on withdrawing US troops

from firstpost

North Korea's media praises 'wise' Donald Trump for comments on withdrawing US troops

Tokyo: Donald Trump appears to be finding some friends in North Korea.The presumptive US Republican Presidential nominee has been getting good press this week in North Korea's carefully controlled med...

BRICS New Development Bank to issue bonds in Chinese currency

from firstpost

BRICS New Development Bank to issue bonds in Chinese currency

Beijing: Shanghai-based New Development Bank (NDB) is set to issue its first yuan-denominated bonds, and is eyeing future funding for infrastructure projects.The bank was founded in July 2014 by the B...

India tops world slavery list, but charity cites improvement

from firstpost

India tops world slavery list, but charity cites improvement

New Delhi: A charity aimed at rescuing children from forced labor says that while India tops a recent global slavery index, the situation is improving in the South Asian nation.The Walk Free Foundatio...

Massive Fire in Kalyan Under Control, No Casualties

from ibn

Massive Fire in Kalyan Under Control, No Casualties

A massive fire broke out at the Aadhar Wadi dumping ground in Kalyan in Thane on Tuesday. Fourteen fire tenders and 12 water tankers were pressed into action to douse the fire. The fire was brought ...

A teenage girl abducted and raped in Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh

from firstpost

A teenage girl abducted and raped in Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh

Bareilly (UP): A 14-year-old girl was allegedly gangraped by three men after abducting her from a village in Bahedi area, police said on Wednesday.The girl was allegedly abducted by Aljad (20) and his...