China Welcomes Kerry’s Unease Over Pivot

At his Senate confirmation hearing last month, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry expressed caution over the Obama administration’s ‘pivot’ to East Asia, warning that it risked unnecessarily antagonizing a wary China. The Council on Foreign Relations’ Elizabeth Economy argues that this was a mistake: Secretary Kerry’s apparent unease with the pivot has unsurprisingly set the Chinese press all atwitter and given Chinese analysts some hope that President Obama has appointed a kinder, gentler Secretary of State. The major Chinese state-supported newspapers—the Global Times, People’s Daily, and Xinhua—highlighted his remarks on the pivot and then offered some thoughts on Kerry’s likely diplomatic approach [….] […] By suggesting that the pivot may be out of favor, Secretary Kerry has also drawn into question U.S. credibility. Officials and analysts abroad have already raised doubts about U.S. staying power in the Asia Pacific; Secretary Kerry’s doubts will only add fuel to the fire. […] Secretary Kerry understandably wants to make his mark on U.S. foreign policy over the next few years, and he appears to be setting himself a challenging agenda, including making progress on a free trade agreement with Europe and restarting the Middle East peace talks. However, the original logic of the pivot—ensuring security in the Asia Pacific and taking advantage of the region’s economic dynamism through a free trade agreement—still stands. It’s too early to pivot away. Max Fisher adds, at The Washington Post: Kerry’s balancing act, as he seems to see it, is about how to engage in Asia without unduly upsetting China and damaging the important (and sometimes-tenuous) U.S.-China relationship. It looks like Kerry might be erring a little more on the side of preserving friendly U.S.-China relations than Hillary Clinton did as secretary of state, when she cultivated close ties with Southeast Asian states, often to Beijing’s ...
« Back to Article

One Response to China Welcomes Kerry’s Unease Over Pivot

  1. Mike Wong says:

    Since 1950,China has been subjected to US nuclear blackmail.The US has an assured destruction capability with China but not the Chinese.The PLA can cause massive and unacceptable damage . The ferocious Chinese build up can traced to 1996 whentwo carriers scared the butts of the top PLA brass.
    The PLA is not a threat to US national security. The US has 20000 nw which can pulverise and destroy China.The Chinese are reacting to this by making sure the US will pay an un acceptable price shd it press the nuclear button.As noted the US homeland and assets were immune from retalitaion when the USattackedIraq/Afghanistan and even in Vietnam.
    Any attack on China will invite chinese retaliation.In time to come the PLA will have the means to have the US carriers made irrelevant. What would the US do if Chinese carriers loiter off the California coast?
    That time will come soon unless the US uses the Japs to provoke China into a war.If it were 1950 or even 2008,the price for US victory will be modest ,Not now.Believe me,it will be unbelievableeven.if China is turned into a big massive wasteland.As for US I want the Pentagon to report to the WH the scale of US damage..