US foreign policy

US says 'bar higher' for dialogue with N. Korea

Glyn Davies is the US point man on North Korea. Photo: AFP

The United States says North Korea's recent actions have risen the bar for a resumption of dialogue, and it called on Pyongyang to address concerns on weapons but also human rights.

Sunday, 16 June, 2013, 8:12am

Pacific rivals vie for prize of India

India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (left) and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.

To the Confucian scholar Xunzi, writing in China 2,500 years ago, calling things by the right name was imperative. If things were properly named, he asserted, "there is no longer the danger of people's ideas not being understood". This concept of the "rectification of names" is as applicable today as it was in ancient times.

29 May 2013 - 6:16am

Book review: The Secretary, by Kim Ghattas

Book review: The Secretary, by Kim Ghattas

This is not an up-close-and-personal account of Hillary Clinton's travels as US secretary of state. Instead, The Secretary is a well-documented, neatly written account of American foreign policy during the first four years of President Barack Obama's administration.

7 Apr 2013 - 4:08pm

Obama's visit restores hope

President Barack Obama returns to the White House after his trip to the Middle East. Photo: AP

Bringing peace to the Middle East was US President Barack Obama's stated foreign policy aim after he took office four years ago. But the impetus quickly fizzled out, and in place of hope, there has been tension and distrust. Yet change is again in the air after Obama started his second term by making Israel his first overseas trip, raising expectations with a series of successes.

25 Mar 2013 - 2:37am 1 comment

Book review: Above the Din of War, by Peter Eichstaedt

Book review: Above the Din of War, by Peter Eichstaedt

So much for Operation Enduring Freedom. The American-led mission launched after the September 11, 2001, attacks on New York's fiscal heart limps on, finally set to fizzle out in 2014, when the US forces are slated to end their occupation of Afghanistan.

24 Mar 2013 - 4:50pm

Holding back women only hobbles progress

US Secretary of State John Kerry. Photo: AFP

During my first week as the US secretary of state, I had the honour of meeting a group of courageous women from Burma. Two were former political prisoners, and although they had all endured incredible hardship in their lives, each of them was committed to moving forward - providing education and training to girls, finding jobs for the unemployed and advocating for greater participation in civil society. I have no doubt that they will continue to be powerful agents of change, bringing progress to their communities and their country in the years to come.

7 Mar 2013 - 2:35am

John Kerry presses US secretary of state case with Senate committee

John Kerry

American foreign policy is more than just drones and troops, Senator John Kerry pledged yesterday, as he outlined to US lawmakers his priorities if they back him as the next secretary of state.

25 Jan 2013 - 3:04am

Trial by fire for Obama's choice to succeed Clinton

UN ambassador Susan Rice

Susan Rice was playing stand-in on September 16 when she appeared on five Sunday news programmes a few days after the deadly attack in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans.

19 Nov 2012 - 3:42am

Hillary Clinton courts Asia, welcomes China in US-led trade talks

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton welcomed China and other Asian countries to join trade talks in mapping out a foreign policy focused more on economic strength than military might.

18 Nov 2012 - 3:19am

The American Dream and harsh realities

 Obama 2.0 must go beyond rhetoric and discover the ways of political persuasion, or the US will head rapidly to the sunset that faces all empires. Photo: AFP

US President Barack Obama was back to his best form when he made a teary-eyed victory speech to his supporters last week and promised that the best was yet to come, and he would fight for all Americans to create the land of their dreams and of the American Dream.

17 Nov 2012 - 1:17am 1 comment

US has no intention of trying to contain China

US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta reviews a naval honour guard in Qingdao before touring vessels of China's North Sea Fleet, during a visit to the country in September. Photo: AFP

"There you go again" has become one of the most memorable lines in US presidential debate history. It was 1980, and Ronald Reagan used it famously to dismiss president Jimmy Carter's repeated misrepresentations of his plans for social security reform.

15 Nov 2012 - 2:35am 10 comments

Hillary Clinton uses Perth visit to urge Australian-Indian naval exercises

Prime Minister Julia Gillard (left) has a cup with Hillary Clinton in Perth. Photo: AFP

US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton encouraged Australia yesterday to increase its military ties with India, including joint navy exercises, but added that Washington also supported the peaceful rise of China.

Clinton and US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta arrived in Perth on the eve of a bilateral security summit with their Australian counterparts.

14 Nov 2012 - 3:52am

Indonesia is the sort of friend America needs

US President Barack Obama waves goodbye after delivering a speech at the University of Indonesia in Jakarta during a 2010 trip to the country. Photo: EPA

Within days, US President Barack Obama is set to visit Southeast Asia and this is a very good thing. The region is becoming more significant by the month.

I am slightly sad he will grace only three countries: Burma, Thailand and Cambodia. Taken together, the region's population comes in at about 600 million, half of which is Muslim.

14 Nov 2012 - 3:16am

Japan seeks firmer pact with the US to confront China

US Deputy Secretary of State William Burns (left) with Japan's defence minister, Satoshi Morimoto, in Tokyo last month. Photo: EPA

Japan's defence minister, Satoshi Morimoto, said yesterday he wanted to revise his nation's security alliance with the United States to place more emphasis on the threat from China to Japan's southeastern islands.

10 Nov 2012 - 2:36am

Obama's Myanmar trip 'no threat to Chinese interests'

Fresh from his re-election, President Barack Obama will embark on a trip to Southeast Asia and become the first US president to visit Myanmar. Photo: AP

A landmark trip by US President Barack Obama to Myanmar this month poses no threat to China's interests in the country, a senior Chinese official from a key border province said yesterday.

10 Nov 2012 - 1:01am