Secretary of State Kerry speaks at East-West Center

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry delivered a policy speech at the East-West Center in Honolulu Wednesday.

His speech focused on the next steps in the United States’ Asia-Pacific strategy.

According to Kerry, close ties between the U.S. and Asia-Pacific countries are crucial for global economic growth and that Hawaii plays a key role in continuing foreign policy relations with those countries.

Kerry outlined four challenges that are currently being addressed:

Turning today’s economic nationalism into tomorrow’s sustainable growth. Too many countries struggle to provide opportunities for youth in terms of education, training, jobs and entrepreneurship. “The true measure of success will not be whether our economes continue to grow, but how they continue to grow,” he said.

Turning today’s climate crisis into tomorrow’s clean energy revolution. “Rescuing our planet’s climate is a global challenge that requires a global solution,” he said. Kerry said China-U.S. relations are key to rescuing the planet’s climate, to reduce emissions and develop clean energy.

Turning maritime conflicts into regional cooperation. The U.S. takes no position on questions of sovereignty in South and East China seas, he said, but the U.S. does care about how those questions are resolved. The U.S. firmly opposes the use of intimidation, coercion or force, he said. Kerry also said a constructive relationship with U.S. and China is key to regional stability and that the U.S. is committed to avoiding the trap of strategic rivalry and focused instead on constructively managing differences.

Turning human rights problems into opportunities for empowerment.

Kerry’s appearance concludes a five-day trip to Burma, Australia and the Solomon Islands, during which he participated in ASEAN and East Asia Summit ministerial meetings, bilateral consultations and wreath-laying ceremonies at war memorials on Guadalcanal.

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