Saturday, January 13, 2001
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Posted on: Saturday, January 13, 2001

Bush team needs greater Asia focus

Sen. Dan Inouye is right to be urging greater focus on Asia by the new Bush defense and security team.

While the president-elect’s nominees are first-class on paper, they also are demonstrably Euro-centric in an age where the strategic and economic center of gravity has moved to the opposite hemisphere.

What worries us is that Inouye feels the need to speak up about the Bush team, when he appeared reasonably satisfied by the Clinton record.

In fact, Clinton began his first term with a show of understanding that the action in the 21st century would be in Asia, but as in so many things, he quickly took his eye off the ball. As but one measure of Clinton’s subsequent inattention to Asia, his two secretaries of state made only seven visits to China between them.

If Inouye thinks Bush’s focus is even more displaced than Clinton’s, then we should all worry.

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