Samir’s Selection 04/26/2016 (a.m.)

  • tags: USforeign foreignpolicy Obama USsecurity Asia US-UK-relationship UK EU GideonRachman

    • For all the ritualistic tributes to the enduring nature of the special relationship, something has changed during the Obama years. That shift is a growing awareness in both Washington and London of the rise of Asia, which has made both the US and the UK reconsider their approaches to the world — and each other.

      President Obama’s personal background does indeed matter here. But the significant point is not that he is the first African-American president, but that he is the first Pacific president. Mr Obama was brought up in Hawaii, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, and spent several years of his childhood in Indonesia. Like no other president before him, he really grasps the vital and growing importance of the Asia-Pacific region.

      The signature foreign policy initiative of the Obama years has been America’s “pivot to Asia”. Amid all the turmoil in the Middle East and Ukraine, the US president has remained grimly, stubbornly, determined to devote more of his country’s diplomatic, military and economic resources to Asia.

    • the reality is that America’s biggest trade priority is neither the UK nor the EU — it is Asia. While negotiations on TTIP are still years from conclusion, the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal has already been agreed between the US and 11 other nations in the Asia-Pacific region, and now awaits ratification.
    • Some Brits and Europeans hope that the departure of President Obama might mean that the US places less emphasis on Asia and pivots back to the Atlantic. That is unlikely. Any US president who looks at America’s strategic priorities is likely to come to conclusions similar to Mr Obama’s. Hillary Clinton, his likeliest successor, is a firm believer in the “pivot” to Asia, as she made clear in a 2011 article entitled “America’s Pacific Century”.
    • The rise of Asia is also changing the nature of Canada and Australia, two other key members of the historic Anglosphere. Australia does 10 times as much trade, by value, with China and Japan as it does with Britain. The population of Toronto, Canada’s largest city, is now around 35 per cent ethnic Asian, and the figure is well over 40 per cent for Vancouver on the Pacific coast.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.


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