November 20, 2013 – White House National Security Advisor Susan Rice outlined the future of U.S. policies toward the Asia Pacific during her speech today at Georgetown.
The Asia Pacific is a “critical region” for sustaining global growth through emerging economies, lowering carbon emissions, improving the well-being of those living in extreme poverty and denuclearizing of the Korean Peninsula, she said to an audience of Georgetown students, faculty and staff and members of the diplomatic corp.
“Achieving that future, will necessarily be the sustained work of successive administrations,” Rice added. “In the near term, President Obama will continue to lay the critical foundations for lasting progress in four key areas – enhancing security, expanding prosperity, fostering democratic values and advancing human dignity.”
Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service and the Asian Studies Program co-sponsored Rice’s speech, “America’s Future in Asia,” where she also announced President Obama’s plans to return to the Asia-Pacific region in April.
Obama’s planned trip to last month’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting in Indonesia was interrupted by the 16-day U.S. government shutdown.
Victor Cha, director of Asian studies at Georgetown, served as the White House’s National Security Council as director for Asian affairs from 2004 to 2007. He said Rice’s address came at a good time.
“She delivered a comprehensive and forceful statement of U.S. policy in Asia,” Cha said after the address. “It was needed in the aftermath of President Obama missing last month’s APEC meeting, and she met that need very well.”
He also appreciated that Rice wrapped up her address with the U.S. efforts being carried out in the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan smashed into the island nation last week and killed an unconfirmed number that's somewhere between hundreds and thousands.
“Before the storm, our disaster relief experts from the U.S. Agency for International Development were already on the ground,” Rice said. “We cooperated seamlessly with our allies in the region, … and together we’re working around the clock to manage the immediate crisis and help the Filipino people begin rebuilding their country.”