The East Asia and Pacific region accounts for nearly a third of the Earth’s population and 25% of global gross domestic product. As such, it plays a central role in shaping the course of the world’s economy, maintaining international peace and stability, and addressing key transnational issues such as energy, environment and climate change, pandemics, and nonproliferation.
The region contains five of the United States’ top 15 trading partners and is home to long-standing treaty allies in Japan, the Republic of Korea, Australia, the Philippines, and Thailand, as well as security relationships through Compacts of Free Association with the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, and Palau. Exponential economic growth in China and elsewhere has created market opportunities for U.S. goods and services while diffusing prosperity more widely in the region, creating burgeoning new middle classes, and accelerating regional integration.
Meeting Security Challenges. Achieving denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula is the U.S. goal in the region. The United States is strongly committed to, and continues to work toward, full and transparent implementation of all relevant Security Council Resolutions that require the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to re-establish its moratorium on missile launches and express “gravest concern” that its missile activities have “generated increased tension in the region and beyond.” This effort relates to the Global Security – Nuclear Nonproliferation High Priority Performance Goal.
Reaffirming U.S. Economic Leadership in Creating Economic Stability and Sustainable Growth. In the wake of the global financial crisis, confidence in U.S. economic stability, policy prescriptions, and leadership have been shaken. The U.S. strategic priority is to reinvigorate U.S. economic leadership in the face of pressures to forge Asian stand-alone approaches and to create self-sustaining regional organizations.
Constructive and Cooperative Relationship with China. China’s reemergence will affect U.S. interests in the areas of peace and security, economic prosperity, health, and the expansion of human dignity and democracy for generations to come. State and USAID are broadening public outreach and working with partners to realize a vision of a region that is prosperous, stable, and democratic, and planning for rapidly expanding engagement. How the United States works with China today will shape the global geopolitical, economic, security, and public health environment tomorrow.
Promoting Good Governance, Human Rights, and Democratic Institutions in Transitional Countries. It is a major priority to promote good governance, strengthen public institutions, and create more vibrant, effective local governments. Civil societies and media foster responsive central governments and promote human rights. For example, U.S. efforts in Burma continue to press for democratic transition, and make long-term investments that will help build civil society and civic leadership needed to manage the enormous governance challenges that will arise when political change finally comes. In Fiji, the United States continues to work with the Pacific Island Forum and other regional partners to press for the return of democratic government. And in North Korea, the USG carries on its commitment to keeping international attention focused on human rights abuses and the plight of refugees. This effort relates to the Democracy, Good Governance, and Human Rights High Priority Performance Goal.