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205 words - June 3, 2013 | © DiploNews, all rights reserved.
The United States is committed to a strategic rebalance to the Asia-Pacific and aims to strengthen its ties in the region, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told an audience of Pacific leaders at the day of the 2013 Shangri-La Dialogue held in Singapore. The US official explained that his country is "following through on Pacific Rebalance" and that it is not "a retreat from other regions of the world,"
In addition to the "separate" defense initiatives underway with Japan, South Korea (ROK), Australia, Thailand and the Philippines, Mr Hagel underlined the relevance of the trilateral cooperation between the United States, Japan and the ROK, and with Australia too where 2,500 US Marines will deploy each year.
With a view to addressing "Chinese concerns," Secretary Hagel recalled that the United States has been a Pacific power for 200 years and that its call for an "emerging and responsible China" also applied to "other emerging nations" including India and Indonesia. Summing up, the United States' interest in the Asia-Pacific is ancient and its rebalancing is neither a threat (to China's interests for instance) nor a new development since it is being built on "existing alliances."
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