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Obama’s Second Term in the Asia-Pacific Region: Reflecting on the Past, Looking to the Future

By: Sabrina Tsai |

The Asia-Pacific region proved to be one of the top priorities of U.S. foreign policy during President Obama’s first term. The East China Sea and South China Sea territorial disputes; Kim Jong-un’s succession to the North Korean leadership and subsequent provocations; and China’s rapid military modernization over the last two decades were and continue to be among some of the top security issues for the Obama Administration. This paper outlines Obama’s Asia policy in the first term and assesses the trajectory of the U.S. “rebalance” strategy in the second term, taking into account the numerous personnel changes in Obama’s senior-level foreign policy team.