U.S., China Race for Influence in Asia

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April 23 (Bloomberg) -- Brookings Institution’s Kenneth Lieberthal discusses President Obama’s Asia trip agenda on Bloomberg Television’s “Bottom Line.” (Source: Bloomberg)

So-called asia pivot?

Do you think that is a correct characterization?

I think it is a poor characterization.

Pivot suggests that our shift towards asia is at the expense of what we're doing elsewhere.

It should be called the asia reinvigoration of policy after being bogged down after 9/11. it is an ongoing process.

I think peter accurately summed up the agenda for this trip.

To show the president really cares about asia and does show up there.

It is to draw strong at security alliances and push a multilateral investment agreement.

How should the united states go about enhancing its engagement in the region?

The idea behind what has been called the rebalance towards asia was that we would increase our security activities in the region power lines with five allies -- we have joined the east asia summit and other bodies over the course of the past two years.

The key issue here is one that peter referred to at the end of this.

Where does china fit in this?

The trick here -- an important thing to do, is to build relations with china that make china a central player in this process.

It has the biggest trade ties throughout the region, including with our allies.

Rather than have this be something that makes china the bull's-eye and forces the countries do think that they have to side with us or with china.

You talk about peters said apiece.

He did note that this trip did not include a stop in china.

What are we to make of that?

It does not.

The president will be in china this fall for the aipac leaders meeting.

Beyond that, all of the items that were mentioned in peters piece have parallels with what we're doing with china.

We are a good shooting a bilateral investment treaty and have significantly expanded our military contacts with china.

We have very active diplomacy going on with china.

Significant expansion of our diplomatic contacts with them on a regularized basis.

The trick is, how do you do this with friends and allies in the region who are worried about chinese assertiveness and with china and not have the two sides of that effort and up in conflict with each other rather than reinforcing each other?

You believe that asia has confidence in america's ability to display what you call real economic dynamism.

Doesn't that assume that washington politics don't get in the way of things like the transpacific partnership which is the centerpiece of the president's engagement in the region?

It is absolutely the case.

The president will have to -- if this is negotiated and we have a good agreement, he will have to get this ratified by capitol hill.

If he fails to do that, i think there will be a serious price to pay in terms of u.s. credibility in the region.

It there is a lot at stake here.

There was a threat not to raise

This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.

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