23 January 2013 -- As the President of the United States Barack Obama was sworn in on for his 2nd term yesterday, a gathering was held at the Tower Club in Makati to aptly discuss his Foreign Policy strategy and focus for the continuation of his presidency.
A joint lunch hosted by the CPR Foundation, AMCHAM, Asia Society Philippines, and ECCP, John D. Negroponte, Vice Chairman of McLarty Associates, spoke to an audience of about 120 eager to learn what the administration's move will be in terms of foreign policy.
Having been assigned as Ambassador to the Philippines under the Clinton administration in 1993 to 1996, Negroponte expressed how the US is well aware that the "economic and political gravity of the world is now in Asia". He mentioned that if the 1990's can be labeled as the year of the Southeast Asian tigers, this decade can be labeled as the year of the Emerging Markets. He said that "He [the President] is probably more familiar with Asia than other parts of the world.". His involvement in several summits involving ASEAN and East Asia displays the intention to revitalize the relationships with Asian nations.
Audience look on as John D. Negroponte talks on the different aspects of current US Foreign Policy.
He mentioned how the initial foreign policy agenda of President Obama included dealing with their financial crises through a stimulus package, withdrawing forces from Iraq, and complete withdrawal from Afghanistan by 2014. These being part of their mission to embark on an "ambitious" agenda of both counterterrorism and nation building.
On the issue with China, however, Negroponte stated that his observation of the President's attitude towards this matter has been fairly typical. Having served in several administrations, he said that Obama has demonstrated the same attitude as the previous US Presidents have done. Negroponte emphasized the need to focus on the positive issues and use these as a starting point to work with China. US-China relations have always been a staple concern for any US President but he suggested that with the current issues, it is better to just focus on the areas where we can mutually benefit from.
Negroponte spoke about the US-Philippine Society which was just formed during Pres. Aquino's visit to Washington last year. Negroponte, who co-chairs the Society, mentioned of plans to have their second Board meeting while he's here in the country.
Other links to Negroponte's visit: