Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Trump Administration Rejects 'Pivot' to Asia, At Least in Name |

Trump Administration Rejects 'Pivot' to Asia, At Least in Name | The new U.S. administration has yet to unveil its plans for a new strategy toward the Asia-Pacific, but the "pivot" or "rebalance" -- as former President Barack Obama's policy of deeper engagement was known -- has been officially put to rest.

A senior State Department official rejected the terms while acknowledging there's nothing yet to replace them.

The comments came on the eve of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's first trip to Asia in his new role, with stops planned in Japan, South Korea and China.

"On the issue of pivot, rebalance, et cetera, I mean, that was a word that was used to describe the Asia policy in the last administration," said Susan Thornton, acting assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs.

During a press briefing in Washington on Monday, she outlined general principles as part of a preview of Tillerson's Asia trip.

Those included remaining "engaged and active in Asia," working on fair trade and free trade issues and of course addressing the growing threat from North Korea, which has test-fired two ballistic missiles in defiance of economic sanctions since Trump took office on Jan. 20.