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She promised that the rebalance to the Asia-Pacific — seen by many as derailed by continuing crises in the Middle East and South Asia — would continue, as would aid to the typhoon disaster area.

“Recovery will be a long process, but the United States will stand beside the Philippines every step of the way — getting people back to work, rebuilding homes, reopening schools,” she said.

Mr. Ratner said Vice President Biden’s trip to the region next month would be an important litmus test of how the new policy would actually get implemented.

Another test would come on President Obama’s rescheduled trip to the region, to replace the South East Asia visit canceled as a result of the government shutdown in October.

Ms. Rice announced for the first time today the president would travel there in April, but gave no details of the itinerary.