(Bloomberg) -- Asia-Pacific nations want the US engaged in the region both economically and militarily as a counterweight to an increasingly assertive China, according to the new head of the Council on Foreign Relations.
The world has seen a return to great power politics with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, economic and military competition between the world’s two largest economies, the Israel-Hamas war and global challenges posed by issues like pandemics and climate change, Mike Froman said Monday in an interview with Bloomberg Television.
A greater number of countries want to see the US active in the region given those challenge, said Froman, who as US Trade Representative under President Barack Obama negotiated the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Former President Donald Trump abandoned the pact after campaigning against it and other trade deals in 2016.
“They’re looking for our engagement in a military and security sense and a political dimension, but also in an economic dimension,” Froman said in an interview with Tom Keene and Lisa Abramowicz. “This is the most economically dynamic region of the world and they desperately want the US to be engaged there, not just as a military power, but also an economic power.”
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Froman said President Joe Biden’s meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping at last week’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit was a “success” for stabilizing the relationship between the two countries.
Progress on military-to-military conflict management, fentanyl, climate change and China’s desire for a less turblent international environment were promising signs from the meeting, Froman said.
--With assistance from Tom Keene and Lisa Abramowicz.
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