Ten defense ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations are in Hawaii, for meetings on regional security, and multi-lateral collaboration. CCTV’s Nathan King reports from Honolulu.
For the U.S., hosting the Association of Southeast Asian Nations defense ministers in Hawaii this week has been a charm offensive – reiterating time and time again how the U.S. military can be a force for good in the region, but there has also been a display of Americas military might.
Defense Ministers Meet at U.S.-ASEAN Forum in HawaiiTen defense ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations are in Hawaii, for meetings on regional security, and multi-lateral collaboration.
As the U.S.-ASEAN forum closes it was all smiles for the cameras- all week soft talk and soft power on display. But there’s lots of hard power on display too. That was a vertical takeoff and landing craft, the Osprey, cobra helicopters on deck on the U.S.S. Anchorage and while this can deliver humanitarian relief anywhere it would also be ready to deploy with 800 marines on board within three days anywhere in the Pacific.
The ASEAN defense ministers were given a tour of this impressive fleet and the U.S. Secretary of Defense assured them the U.S. will keep its global commitments.
But there are fears that looming U.S. budget cuts may hit this strategic rebalance to Asia. The commander of U.S. Pacific Forces has said, publicly, he doesn’t have enough equipment to fulfill its mission. The U.S.is also thinking of getting rid of one aircraft carrier and that has Hawaii lawmakers concerned.
The U.S. military is telling ASEAN members here that the U.S. will do more with less in the Pacific and around the world. That is another reason why future regional cooperation is so important to the U.S., there is an economic imperative too.
That means more efforts to integrate the regions militaries – more joint exercises, more discussions like the U.S.ASEAN Defense Forum. The U.S. may have been the dominant naval power in the Pacific for 60 years and still is, but it wants, and needs to share the load.
Wrapping up his 3 day meeting with the defense ministers from ASEAN countries, U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel is now heading to Japan and China. He says despite differences, there is plenty of room for collaboration.
And for more on the ASEAN defense ministers meeting, we talked with Zhu Cheng Hu, the dean of the Defense Affairs Institute at the National Defense University of the People’s Liberation Army.