US senator heads to Asia to meet top leaders

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A top US senator headed on Monday to meet senior leaders in China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan as Congress looks for new security and trade moves in Asia.

Robert Menendez, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, will meet Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Park Geun-Hye, along with officials in China and Taiwan, his office said.

His trip comes at a time of uneasy relations between South Korea and Japan — US allies where together more than 80,000 American troops are stationed — due to renewed disputes linked to wartime history.

Japan’s ties with China have also been tense, with Abe vowing a firm line against what he sees as increasingly assertive attempts by Beijing to challenge Tokyo’s control over strategic islands.

Abe, newly emboldened by an election victory, has advocated greater military cooperation with the United States and generally supported a plan to move the controversial Futenma air base within crowded Okinawa island.

The US Congress has held up a 2006 Futenma relocation plan due partly to an earlier political backlash in Japan as well as concerns over rising costs of relocating Marines to Guam.

On Taiwan, US lawmakers including Menendez, a member of President Barack Obama’s Democratic Party, have supported the island’s bid to buy new F-16 fighter-jets to close a military gap with Beijing.

The Obama administration has held off on authorizing the sale, a move that would trigger fierce criticism in China, which claims Taiwan.

Administration officials rarely visit Taiwan as the United States does not recognize it as a country, leading the self-ruling island to court members of Congress.

Obama has led a “pivot” or rebalancing toward Asia, saying US interests will increasingly be linked to the fast-growing continent, although some analysts and diplomats say its momentum has faded in his second term.

 

 

 

Source : Channel News Asia | August 13, 2013

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Thomas D’Innocenzi is a highly accomplished, results-focused international consultant with extensive experience in global sourcing and business development worldwide to meet evolving business needs. Tom has proven ability in implementing and managing profitable global marketing and sourcing operations. He has extensive experience in international business development to accommodate rapid growth. Skilled in building top-performing teams, bench-marking performance, and developing organizations to improve efficiency, productivity, and profitability. Experienced transition leader and change agent. Tom founded Nova Advisors with the mission of providing expert Global Business Development consulting services for companies seeking to expand their market share as an independent consultant. Tom has a network of experts and advisors throughout the Asia-Pacific region and North America. His expertise includes business development, global sourcing, manufacturing, commodities, logistics, QA/QC, FDA, regulatory compliance, sustainability, and supply chain optimization. Tom is experienced in the medical device, apparel, consumer goods and technology services verticals helping companies advance their global sourcing capabilities and develop new markets through a local and sustained approach. Located in SE Asia and the United States, Tom expands market reach to drive sales. His global sourcing strategy includes directly negotiating with commodity suppliers, supply chain networks and distributors for optimal terms based on his expertise and first-hand knowledge of the players. Contact Tom to use his consulting service to increase your global market and make global sourcing profitable for you in the Asia Pacific Region and the United States. http://www.NovaAdvisors.com thomas@NovaAdvisors.com USA Direct: +1.904.479.3600 SINGAPORE: +65.6818.6396 THAILAND: +662.207.9269
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