- - Wednesday, April 30, 2014

President Obama put on a major diplomatic show with his recent visits to Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and the Philippines (“Obama secures defense deal with Philippines, blasts his foreign-policy critics,” Web, April 28). The visits may have been eventful and exciting, but as the weeklong trip wrapped up, it was clear that Mr. Obama’s visit to the Asia Pacific showcased his lackluster diplomatic achievements.

Since taking office, Mr. Obama has offered no grand strategy for U.S. foreign policy. In the past, the United States could rely on its political, economic and military might to exert a major influence on global affairs. However, in recent years the situation has changed.

Currently, Ukraine is in chaos, and all Mr. Obama seems able to do is discuss sanctions with European Union members.

The dispute between China and Japan over territorial sovereignty has become increasingly acute. Sovereignty disputes in the South China Sea are heating up as well. U.S. forces in the Asian region face increasingly serious threats.

Analysts mostly agreed that Mr. Obama’s rhetoric in Japan risked antagonizing Beijing and damaging U.S. ties with the world’s second-biggest economy. Some experts called on Mr. Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Abe to abandon their Cold War mentality, and they cautioned that Beijing’s response might only become clear in the coming months.

Economic decline has led to huge cuts in U.S. military and diplomatic budgets. The public is weary of the escalated tensions over disputed islands, and the United States can no longer play the role of world policeman. It is time the White House take China’s rise more seriously and begin to meticulously ponder the issues.


Advisory commissioner, Overseas Chinese Affairs Council

Potomac Falls