He said the Obama adminis-tration’s focus on the Asia-Pacific is based on a careful assessment that America’s prosperity and continued security are increasingly tied to the region. One third of global trade is with Asia, including $1.448 trillion annually in two-way trade with the US. Half the world’s shipping by tonnage passes through the waters of the South China Sea. As countries and people throughout the region become more prosperous and more important to the global economy, the US will continue to be an active partner in the region’s growth, he said. The rebalance also reflects strong and longstanding ties between the US and countries in the Asia-Pacific, where the United States has long supported security and stability with its military presence and partnerships, the official said. Noting that the US vision for the Asia-Pacific is an open and inclusive one, he said rising powers also have a special role to play in a future security order as they assume the responsibilities that come with having a growing stake in regional stability. “To that end, a critical element of our long-term strategy in Asia is to build strong relationships with rising powers – including India and China,” he said.
The Pentagon continues to engage with China, where their cooperation directly supports the maintenance of peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific, and is a key component of its overall approach to the region, he said. Adam Smith, the Ranking Democratic Member of the House Armed Services Committee, said Asia-Pacific region is vital to America’s national interests, and it includes many essential allies and partners. (PTI)