|(Pang Li / China Daily)|
Editor's note: In 2014, is there any possibility that the U.S. will use force against Syria? The situation in Afghanistan may well spiral out of control after US troops withdraw from Afghanistan. Will the U.S. show some restraint after the PRISM scandal? There are many such questions. In brief: compared with 2013, will the year of 2014 be more secure?
The U.S. will have limited opportunities to promote its Asia-Pacific "rebalancing strategy"
Diplomatically, the United States will not relax this "rebalancing strategy", because this region is both the engine of the world economy and the fulcrum of international security. But domestically, while the U.S. economy is on a modest path to recovery, it is not yet fully out of the shadow of the financial crisis. This year the U.S. will hold mid-term elections, so the Republican and Democratic parties will continue to battle over domestic affairs. In addition, due to the rising trend of American isolationism in recent years, Obama has to direct more attention to domestic affairs. All this means that he will have fewer opportunities to promote his Asia-Pacific "rebalancing strategy".
US initiatives in 2014 will include the following:
The first will be to continue to strengthen relations with its allies and consolidate ties with new partners. The U.S. adopted an acquiescent stance on Japan’s plan to rewrite the constitution, to exercise the right of collective self-defense, and to build up its defense forces. However, the disappointment expressed by the U.S. at Abe’s visit to the Yasukuni Shrine on December 26 shows that the U.S. will not allow Japan to go so far as to damage U.S. interests in the Asia-Pacific region.
The second will be to focus on the Asia-Pacific defense system, to try to establish military cooperation with relevant nations to secure its foothold there, and to deploy weapons and equipment in the region.
The third will be to ensure the dominance of the US dollar in the Asia-Pacific region. The U.S. is pushing its TPP agenda, and among its objectives here are to prevent the formation of a unified trading bloc in Asia, to stay involved in the process of regional integration, and to ensure its own geopolitical and economic interests.
The fourth will be to repair any relations with other major powers which have been damaged by the "rebalancing" strategy.