One would not expect the secretary of defense routinely to inspect the sentries and walk point on patrols, but, in effect, that is what the secretary of state has to do. He is the chief executive of a department numbering in the tens of thousands, and a budget in the tens of billions; but he is also the country’s chief diplomat, charged with conducting negotiations and doing much of the detailed work of American foreign policy.
President Donald Trump faces his most critical week of statesmanship so far -- and it will reflect sharp changes of direction he has already wrought in US foreign policy. Trump will hold his most important meeting with a world leader yet when he welcomes Chinese President Xi Jinping to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida on Friday, after putting Beijing on notice that if it does not do more to rein in its ally North Korea over its nuclear program, the US will take tough action.
Under Xi Jinping China has made no secret that it aspires to bigger roles on the global stage, including taking on leadership in global governance and multilateral cooperation. Xi’s recent speech at Davos World Economic Forum, though a little ironic, came as a timely boost for international trade and economic cooperation. In the case of climate change, should China become the next champion, this is not only because it seeks international status, but there is also concrete convergence of domestic interests and international commitments.
The Trump administration’s real ASEAN test is whether it can preserve the U.S. role as a capable and willing Pacific power seeking to advance greater security, prosperity, and democracy in the Asia-Pacific while working with Southeast Asian states on common challenges in a way that advances U.S. interests but still preserves their autonomy and freedom of action.
From March 28 to 30, Australia’s global ambassadors will be gathering in Canberra to discuss a range of topics on foreign affairs and trade. At the top of the agenda is the forthcoming Foreign Policy White Paper — the first in 14 years. The white paper will set Australia’s priorities for global engagement moving forward, including the aid program. Australia’s NGOs have had their say through an initial call for public submission.
The ‘Qatar-UK Business and Investment Forum’ which will be held in London and Birmingham from tomorrow is a new prospect for Qatari-British relations at the economic level and presents an opportunity to inject more Qatari investments into Britain, particularly Birmingham
As the Association of Southeast Asian Nations celebrates its 50th anniversary, the complexity of the internal and external environment is severely testing its approach to cooperative security that rests, above all, on preserving the sovereignty of each of the 10 member states.
International-exchange and engagement programs such as the Fulbright, USAID, and the Peace Corps, among others, are key components of American cultural diplomacy, which, as a tool, is cheaper than guns and more widespread in its effects than intercontinental ballistic missiles. Soft power — whether Hollywood, international trade, or exchange programs — has always been a primary means of spreading the American values of democracy, freedom, and prosperity around the globe.