Welcoming India’s growing role in the Asia-Pacific region, the US has said it will continue to work with other countries in the region for “addressing political and security challenges.”
“We’ve elevated our ties with India across the board, and we welcome India’s growing role in the Asia Pacific,” Obama said in a major policy speech on the Asia-Pacific region in Laos on Monday, in a first visit to the country by a US President.
Obama said that the US has deployed more of their advanced military capabilities to the region to deter aggression, including ships and aircraft to Singapore
“By the end of the decade, a majority of our Navy and Air Force fleets will be based out of the Pacific and our allies and partners are collaborating more with each other as well. So our alliances and defence capabilities in the Asia Pacific are as strong as they’ve ever been,” he said.
“We’ve also forged deeper ties with emerging economies and emerging powers. With Indonesia and Malaysia, we’re promoting entrepreneurship, opposing violent extremism and we’re addressing environmental degradation,” he said.
“With my recent visit to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, we’ve shown our commitment to fully normalising our relationship with Vietnam,” Obama said.
“We’ve deepened our cooperation with regional institutions, especially here in southeast Asia. And as part of our new strategic partnership with ASEAN, we’ve agreed to key principles, including that ASEAN will remain central to peace, prosperity and progress in the Asia Pacific,” Obama said.
“The US is now part of the East Asia Summit, and together we’ve made it the leading forum in the region for addressing political and security challenges, including maritime security,” he said.
On relationship with China
Obama said the US has worked to build a constructive relationship with China.
“Our two governments continue to have serious differences in important areas. The US will remain unwavering in our support for universal human rights, but at the same time, we’ve shown that we can work together to advance mutual interests.
The US and China are engaged across more areas than ever before -- such as preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, our shared commitment to denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula and to our historic leadership together on climate change,” he said.
“So I will say it again: The United States welcomes the rise of a China that is peaceful and stable and prosperous and a responsible player in global affairs, because we believe that will benefit all of us,” he added.
“In other words, the US is more deeply engaged across the Asia Pacific than we have been in decades. Our position is stronger. And we’ve sent a clear message that, as a Pacific nation, we’re here to stay. In good times and bad, you can count on the United States of America,” Obama said.