Straits Times: US won't commit to single Asian forum

Updated On: Jan 12, 2010

In the Jan. 12 print edition of the Straits Times, Bhagyashree Garekar reports that US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton is likely to emphasize in a speech tomorrow that the US will not support either of the new visions for Asia-Pacific regional institutions.

The competing visions are Japanese PM Yukio Hatoyama's "East Asian Community" and Australian PM Kevin Rudd's "Asia Pacific community".

Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia Kurt Campbell said "[The US] will not choose any one forum."

He made the remarks while briefing reporters on Mrs Clinton's nine-day tour of the Pacific, which will involve stops in Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.

According to Garekar, "The emerging wisdom in Washington seems to be that the US is well served by its existing tethers to the region" through APEC, the ASEAN Regional Forum.

On the subject of whether the US would join the East Asia Summit, expert Walter Lohmanpoints out that the President is busy with many domestic issues, and the EAS is a leader-level forum. "How many times can the President go to Asia?"

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