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Secretary Rice Goes To Asia: A Preview.

Today, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is embarking on a week-long trip through Asia, beginning in India, then on to Pakistan, then Afghanistan, Japan, South Korea, and China.


The trip has many goals, many missions, much like the President's European trip last month [coverage here, here, here, here, here, and here].

South Asia and Asia are often overlooked in geopolitical analyses that show up in American media reports, as there is an obsession with Europe and the Middle East.

Because of their enormous populations and the economic growth potential, India and China (and the rest of the Asian countries) are worth serious attention. China and India both have the capability and the ambition to rise as global economic and military superpowers over the next generation. The United States cannot operate under the assumption that Europe is the center of the world any longer. A new world requires new thinking. Thus, Dr. Rice is training her attention on Asia early in her term as America's Secretary of State.


The first segment of Rice's journey entails a critical mission with regard to the long-standing feud between India and Pakistan, two nuclear powers, over the disputed Kashmir region. Richard Lugar, Indiana Republican, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, asserts:

As long-time foes, India and Pakistan have each considered a gain in U.S. relations for one to be a setback to the other. The post-September 11, 2001, world can no longer afford such zero-sum thinking. Miss Rice should emphasize that U.S. promotion of nuclear nonproliferation, economic growth and democracy through closer ties to both India and Pakistan is a win-win-win solution for all sides.

The Heritage Foundation has another task for the freedom-loving Rice, while in India:

...an opportunity to make a joint U.S.-India statement on Nepal. Since King Gyanendra abolished the government and established his monarchy as absolute, the human rights situation in the country has substantially dropped from its already low levels. Capitalizing on Nepal’s sudden political isolation, China is supporting the king’s dictatorial impulses and appears to be constructing another outpost of tyranny on its frontier, similar to Beijing’s behavior with North Korea and Burma. A strong statement by India and the United States should warn the Chinese about interfering with Nepal’s independence and encourage King Gyanendra to restore democracy this year.


With regards to Pakistan in particular, The Heritage Foundation notes:

President Pervez Musharraf is a tested ally in the war on terrorism, but he is also a military dictator and many intelligence analysts still believe Osama bin Laden is hiding out somewhere along the Afghan-Pakistan border. Rice must continue to press for democracy and for the suppression of terrorism in Pakistan while recognizing Islamabad’s contributions to the war on terrorism.

Later in her trip, Dr. Rice will visit Afghanistan to examine how the U.S. can promote the full emergence of a free and democratic state there. After that, she will visit Japan, South Korea, and China, where North Korea's nuclear ambitions will top the agenda.

In other developments in diplomacy, Karen Hughes has been named Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs.

Stay tuned to WILLisms.com for progress on Secretary Rice's trip across Asia.

Posted by Will Franklin · 15 March 2005 09:34 AM

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I just love Condoleeza! She seems like such a gracious, funny lady. She would be so much fun to get to spend an afternoon with. I think she would be so interesting just to talk with. I saw her this weekend on television and they asked if she would be interested in running for President. She said she liked what she is doing now. She mentioned that she might enjoy retuning to teaching. Wow, what a fabulous teacher she would be. I would think no student would think of skipping class if she were the teacher!

Posted by: Linda Franklin at March 16, 2005 05:37 AM

How about that Sumo wrestler who wanted to hug Condee ?

Posted by: zulu at March 20, 2005 04:46 PM

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