U.S. President Barack Obama pledges his government's commitment to its Asian allies, saying it will not tolerate ''big nations bullying the small''. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
The United States is a Pacific power committed to its Asian allies and will not tolerate small nations being bullied, President Barack Obama said on Saturday (November 15), in a speech aimed at highlighting his strategic rebalance to the Asia-Pacific region. "We believe that nations and peoples have the right to live in security and peace; that an effective security order for Asia must be based not on spheres of influence, or coercion or intimidation where big nations bully the small, but on alliances of mutual security, international law and norms that are upheld, and peaceful resolution of disputes," Obama said in a policy speech at Queensland University in Brisbane, where he is attending a G20 summit. Although Obama did not explicitly point the finger at China, there was little doubt that he was alluding to Beijing's maritime disputes with its neighbours and growing concern in the region about its military build-up. "But in this engagement we are also encouraging China to adhere to the same rules as other nations, whether in trade or on the seas. And in this engagement we will continue to be frank about where there are differences," he added. The Obama administration has billed the pivot to the Asia-Pacific region as a centrepiece of its foreign policy since it was announced in his first term. G20 host Australia had hoped that the two-day summit would focus on global economic growth, not security or the environment. However, the comments from Obama suggest that security will be the dominant theme.