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Asia Foundation: America's Role in Asia

Asian and American Views

Authors: Ambassador Han Sung-Joo, Ambassador Tommy Koh, and C. Raja Mohan, Professor, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
September 26, 2008

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The election of a new American president is an event of great importance not only to the United States, but to the entire world. Asians from all walks of life have been following the 2008 presidential primaries with great interest and admiration. The world has seen a democratic process where neither wealth nor pedigree — race nor gender — are obstacles to securing America’s highest office. Asians are looking at the November 2008 election with great anticipation and are curious about the next American president’s foreign policy toward a multi-polar world where countries like China, India, and Russia are increasing their power and influence.

America’s 44th president will face many challenges once in office. How to rebuild trust in America after its unpopular invasion of Iraq? How to revive the American economy without resorting to protectionist measures in a global trading system? How to defeat terrorism without creating the impression that Islam is the enemy? How to interface with the international community in utilizing multilateral institutions to uphold international law and foster justice in the world?

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