Washington: As US President Barack Obama heads towards the Asia Pacific, the White House asserted that its Asia policy is not targeted towards China but underlined the need for "peaceful rise" of nations in the region.
"The key point I believe is that US policy in Asia is about US interests. It's not about China," the National Security Council Director for Asia, Danny Russel, told reporters during a conference call ahead of the Obama visit to Asia – his fifth in four years.
Incidentally, Defence Secretary Leon Panetta and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are already in the region.
Obama will travel to Thailand, Myanmar and Cambodia. He would be the first US President to travel to Myanmar.
"We have important bilateral relationships -- important in their own right -- and we have important work to do with regional institutions such as ASEAN and the East Asia Summit.
"Now, China is a full participant in the East Asia Summit, and the fact is that the US and China have extensive areas of cooperation in the Asia Pacific region and in the EAS agenda itself, and that's something that the region values and wants to see," Russel said yesterday.
He added that there are areas of competition and areas of difference of view.
"And we have, in every context made clear to Beijing, that there's a cost to coercive behavior, problematic conduct, whether that's on the economic front or on the security front," he said in response to a question.
"Our objective is to shape the environment in the Asia Pacific region in which the peaceful rise of important countries, including China, contributes to the common good, is fundamentally stabilising and not destabilising, and in which every party can contribute to the work at hand," he said.