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PacNet #9 – U.S. East Asia Policy

As President Bush begins his second term, many have asked how announced and anticipated changes in his foreign policy team will affect U.S. policy in Asia. While I can’t predict the prospects for U.S. policy over the next four years, it is safe to say there will be no profound differences. First, many policy aspects worked reasonably well in the first administration; there is little reason to change them. Second, President Bush and Secretary of State Condeleezza Rice have been intimately involved in every important component of East Asia-Pacific policy over the last several years, so there is no reason to expect major shifts. Finally, Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick has both affinity for and first-hand experience in Asian political questions, as well as the economic issues on which he put so much attention as U.S. trade representative.