Democratic presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will remain “intensely focused on Asia” if she is elected as the next U.S. president, said Wendy Sherman, former Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs.
Sherman, supporter of Clinton who advised her in 2008 presidential campaign, said Tuesday that Clinton would “be certain to continue to invest the time and resources in the region commensurate with its economic and strategic importance.” Sherman is in Seoul as a guest speaker to the 17th World Knowledge Forum in Korea.
Her comments come as growing concerns in Asia towards protectionist and nationalist sentiment in the U.S. presidential election. Clinton who had supported the Pivot Asia initiative and multilateral trade platforms of President Barack Obama over the course of the campaign trail changed her rhetoric slightly to ride on the populist wave led by her Republican opponent Donald Trump who has been outspoken critic of free trade agreements and costly military engagements in Asia.
She reassured that Hillary will remain firm to commitments to U.S. allies. “Secretary Clinton is fully prepared to be commander in chief, and in fact, the only candidate who’s prepared to be commander in chief.”
She also stressed that the decision by Seoul and Washington to deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system was entirely made to protect South Korea from North Korean missiles. “It is not about China. It is about North Korea.”
Sherman, who had been chief negotiator for the Bill Clinton administration on North Korean affairs and involved in nuclear talks with Iran, said China played “a constructive role in the Iran negotiations and is crucial in making a difference where North Korea is concerned.”
By Lee Yu-sup and Bae Mi-jung
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business News Korea & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]